June 18, 2020
Dear Child Care Provider,

Over the past week, we’ve received updates from the Office of Early Learning and Florida Department of Education. In an effort to keep you informed, we’ve provided a summary of this new information. As new updates become available, we will be sure to provide them to you.
School Readiness Child Care Providers must complete a Contract Extension for Fiscal Year 2020/20201
We have just learned the Office of Early Learning will be requiring all School Readiness providers to complete and sign a Contract Extension for the 2020/20201 fiscal year by June 30, 2020.  We believe OEL will be providing the extension document to the Early Learning Coalitions today, June 18, in place of a new contract for the next fiscal year.

In order to continue being paid for providing School Readiness services, you MUST ELECTRONICALLY SIGN this contract extension form as soon as you receive it, and email the form back to us at ProviderPortal@elcbroward.org
We MUST have these signed contract extension forms in our office by close of business June 30. If we do not have your signed form back in time, we will NOT be able to pay you for any School Readiness children in July.

We understand this is a tight timeline and thank you for your cooperation!
Child Care Funding
Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education recently announced the state’s plan on distributing $2 billion in Education and Early Learning CARES Act funding. Funds were divided into a few areas: K-12, higher education and child care, with predetermined formulas for doling out dollars. Key areas of the plan includes:

  • Emergency Child Care Relief Grants: $55 million designated to support ALL Child Care Businesses. Funding for infrastructure, staff payments, retention, cleaning supplies/services and other health and safety costs.
  • Emergency Child Care Relief Grants: $55 million includes support specifically for Child Care Business that were open as of April 30, 2020
  • High-Quality Reopening Support Grants: $17 million designated to support ALL high-quality Child Care Businesses. Support for the re-opening of Gold Seal and High-Quality Centers.
  • First Responders and Health Care Workers: $44 million designated for continued funding incentives and new enrollments prioritization access to SR programs, waived required parent co-payments.
  • Successful Transition to Kindergarten: $21 million designated to school districts to implement summer programs for rising Kindergarteners identified with limited language and emergency literacy skills and a pilot VPK-K progress monitoring system. 

We are waiting for OEL to provide the application document for the Emergency Child Care Relief Grants for child care businesses that were open as of April 30 and waiting on additional eligibility details for the High-Quality Reopening Support Grants. As soon as we have these items we will provide an update.
Emergency Personnel Child Care Scholarship
Children Served - As of Monday, June 15, ELC Broward has served 1,667 children. Our office continues to accept new applications. 

Child Care Provider Bonuses - For June and July Service 2020 Periods , SR providers continue to be eligible for the bonus for serving first responders. (Note: The bonuses have been extended through July 31, 2020 but are still limited to a maximum of $12,000 per provider.)

Redeterminations - Parents who began receiving services in April 2020 are due for redetermination beginning July 1, 2020.
  •   These parents must re-submit a NEW First Responder and Essential Personnel Child Care Application and Authorization (CCAA) Form to continue receiving child care services.
  • If a new referral is not submitted, the Emergency Personnel Child Care Scholarship will be terminated/The CCAA form can be found here, or on our website.
  • If a family’s income is above 85% State Medium Income (SMI), school readiness services will be discontinued when the referral expires.
  • If the family’s income is below 85% SMI, the family will be considered for enrollment in the State’s School Readiness program. Click here to view the SMI chart.     
SR Providers that Remain Closed July 1  
Your responses to the June questionnaire about your plans to reopen your center/program will be reviewed. Your July service period reimbursement may be adjusted based on whether your center is opened or closed. 
2020-21 Provider Profile Submission
If your 20/21 profile has not yet been activated and you are planning to offer VPK in the coming school year, it is especially important that you complete the profile or make any requested corrections to the profile immediately. VPK contracts and applications are currently being initiated on the Provider Portal for those providers with active 20/21 profiles. As we anticipate the start of a new VPK school year, please keep the following deadlines in mind:

  • Providers opting for advance payment for fall must have their 20/21 VPK contract and application certified and have children on their roster by July 1 in order to receive the first advance payment for the school year.
  • VPK Providers on Probation for the school year must have their improvement plan submitted at https://vpkrates.floridaearlylearning.com/home by July 10 in order to give the ELC ample time to review and for any necessary corrections to be made by the provider. Please note that Improvement Plans for Providers on Probation must be approved 30 days prior to the first day of your VPK class schedule. If you submit your plan after July 10 or if you have corrections pending, you will be required to change your VPK calendar(s) to ensure the start date is at least 30 days away.

We continue to await guidance from the Office of Early Learning regarding School Readiness contracts for 20/21. Please check your e-mail frequently for updates from the Early Learning Coalition so that you will know what is required for your program to continue offering School Readiness services after June 30.
Payment for Enrollments and Attendance
ELC Broward will continue to pay for enrollments, rather than attendance, for any child enrolled in a facility since March 2020.  Please note that reimbursements for June enrollments will be contingent upon Providers completing another OEL questionnaire for those providers who were closed during May. The questionnaire is similar to the survey Providers had to complete to receive reimbursements for May  enrollments, however some updates were made. 
Summer VPK Programs
New Emergency Order - Florida Department of Education released an Emergency Order (EO-04) relating to summer VPK. The order cancels all assessments for the 2020 Summer VPK program, and it decreases the required hours of instruction from 300 to 200. The order also authorizes a private school administrator who holds a valid certificate in educational leadership issued by the Department of Education to satisfy the requirement for a prekindergarten director credential. All assessments for the 2020 Summer VPK program are cancelled.

Click   here   to view the Executive Order.
Parent Co-Payments
As a reminder - NO parent co-payments should be collected from ANY school readiness family for the June and July Service Periods. Collection of the parent copayments by providers will resume August 1, 2020.
School Readiness Eligibility
Termination of SR eligibility has been suspended. Timelines required for redetermination of SR eligibility have been extended an additional 60 days through July 15.
Tips on Safely Reopening Your Child Care Center
As you think about how your facility will deal with the impact of COVID-19, we've provided some important tips generated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on general preparedness and planning to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Remember it is important to work with child care licensing to determine the most appropriate plan of action or if you have any questions/concerns.

In addition, you can review the Broward County Emergency Order 20-01 Questions and Answers section on the Broward County Child Care Licensing website.
For additional resources, please visit our website: www.elcbroward.org/coronavirus