May 15, 2020
Dear Parents,

We, at the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida, understand these are trying times full of confusion, questions, and concerns regarding COVID-19. Your concern is valid and we appreciate the many parents who have called, emailed, and messaged us with your questions. At this time, we ask that you take a moment and review the answers to the most commonly asked questions listed below.

  • Effective March 15, 2020 all terminations of School Readiness families’ eligibility have been suspended.

  • Redeterminations of eligibility is extended an additional 60 days.
  • No families shall be removed from the program.​

  • The parent waiting list revalidation notification has been extended by 60 days.​

  • As of April 1, 2020 Providers are no longer collecting parent copayments until further notice.

  • Child care access has been expanded to include First Responders and Health care workers regardless of income. If you are a first responder or health care worker, please contact us for more information.

  • While our lobby is closed to the public, customers can still apply for school readiness and/or VPK services on the family portal website.

  • All Coalition staff can still be reached via phone, email and other media platforms.

At this time, the Coalition requests you contact your individual child care provider for information on possible closures. Please, if you haven’t already, follow your child care provider on Facebook for their individual up-to-date information.

For more information on COVID-19 and how the State of Florida is combating this virus, visit the Florida Department of Health website. 
Have Your Voice Heard
Complete the Survey Below
We need your help. If Florida’s child care industry is going to serve you well through the remainder of this pandemic and beyond, we need a clear look at the child care landscape from your perspective. We've created a survey for parents of young children to share their child care experience and thoughts about what's next as Florida reopens the economy. This will help child care providers and state leaders start planning for the future to best serve you. Please select your respective button below and complete a short survey to have your voice heard!
Free Meals For Children
The following counties have enacted temporary free meals for children 18 and under. For further food assistance, please utilize the food resource button below to access local food banks and distribution points.
Florida Department of Health / Centers for Disease Control
Tips and Infographics
Family Fundamentals
Indoor/Outdoor Activities
While social distancing  to slow the spread of  COVID-19 , you may be looking for new ways to entertain and play with your young child. Thankfully, all you need is loving attention and some basic household items.
Try these time-tested activities, suggested by age from infant to 24 months, and let the fun happen!
There’s nothing worse than a rained-out  beach day . All week the excitement builds - the sandcastles, the boogie boards, the hermit crabs - only to have the proverbial beach blanket yanked out from under you before your toes even touch the sand. Not today! Click the link below and create your own beach inside!

Jump the River is an elimination  game  where kids take turns jumping over an imaginary river until only one is left standing on the other side. It’s super easy to set up, can be played by an entire group of any age kids, or alone at home. By adding a storytelling element to jumping your children will use their imagination to leap across the river. It's also great to help toddlers work on their vertical jumps!
Resources for Families
The Office of Early Learning understands that families are staying at home with their children to keep them safe from the COVID-19. To ensure this experience is a pleasant one, OEL has provided families with additional activities and resources to help support their children’s learning at home as well as provide some activities for entertainment. Please click the blue buttons below and review the attached activities and resources.
We exist to grow healthy children, parents, and the relationship between them.
If you have applied for child care assistance and are on the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida’s wait list, please call us at 850-747-5400 or toll free 866-277-9077 for other financial options.
Sponsored by the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida and the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning