March 27, 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. 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. 
Free Meals For Children
The following counties have enacted temporary free meals for children 18 and under. The Coalition recommends families living outside the listed counties utilize the food resource button below for access to local food banks and distribution points.
Continuity of Education
Free Educational Websites & Activities
While many large group gatherings have been suspended to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, we at the Coalition understand that children still need to experience life and all it has to offer. Please consider utilizing the virtual field trip link below to explore over 25 historically famous and interesting sights.
TEIS is here for you and your family during this trying time. With more than 30 activities, per age bracket, your child will be developing new skills while still being fun. There is something for every child on TEIS, review the list attached to the blue button below and start your 30 days of FREE activities TODAY.
Maintaining healthy children and parents is the Coalitions highest priority! With assistance from Ron Shuali, a well known public speaker and martial arts master, keeping the children of Northwest Florida active and entertained will be easier than ever. Yogarate has been taught in over 50 schools and NOW online. Click the blue button below to learning the arts and mastering your zen with your child.
Florida Department of Health / Centers for Disease Control
Tips and Infographics
Parent Survival Guide
Family Fundamentals
In times of confusion such as these, thinking before taking action and independant problem solving are so important. To assist your children in understanding the importance of thinking things through, we've attached Tucker the Turtle who takes time to tuck and think before speaking and acting. Also attached are wrist cards, explaining how and why we should try to independently solve problems.
Kids are complex beings. They know they feel something, but not how to describe it, leading them to throw tantrums, become clingy, sulk, wet the bed, pick fights with siblings and suddenly forget how to do basic tasks they mastered years ago. We know this on its own can be stressful, but before you respond let’s step back and think about a child’s brain. The brain’s most basic need is safety, followed closely by connection. When we feel unsafe or disconnected, our brains downshift.
Luckily for us, you can help your children, and yourself, by utilizing the five tips compiled by Conscience Discipline. Click the blue button below to review the five tips and begin creating a sense of safety, connection, and cultivating a new sense of normal.
Know the Difference with Florida Rx
Health and Mindfulness
via Kaplan Early Learning Company
From giving children a way to relax and reflect, to helping them build resilience and positive coping strategies, mindfulness holds numerous benefits for those who practice it! Practicing mindfulness has been shown to help bring calm to stressful situations, increase patience, and improve attention spans. Mindfulness also plays an important role in teaching children how to self-regulate in situations where they may be feeling sad, angry, or hurt. When children are equipped with tools like mindfulness strategies, they are able to build an understanding of their own emotions and how to address them in a way that works best for them. Click the blue buttons below to open your mind and home to mindfulness.
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 button below and review the attached activities and resources.
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.
We exist to grow healthy children, parents, and the relationship between them.
Sponsored by the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida and the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning