April 17, 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.

  • All terminations of School Readiness families’ eligibility have been suspended effective as of March 15, 2020. ​

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

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

  • Providers will not collect parent copayments beginning April 1, 2020.
  • The effective period will be reassessed every 15 days.​

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. For further food assistance, please utilize the food resource button below to access local food banks and distribution points.
Continuity of Education
Free Educational Websites & Activities
While many community events and other 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 40 family friendly field trips.
Fun educational flash cards doesn't have to be a thing of the past. Lisa Marnell, an Occupational Therapist, has released many of her online learning resources for FREE to provide early learning materials to families across the nation. Please click the blue button below to review and download her resources!
Maintaining healthy children and parents is the Coalitions highest priority! With assistance from GoNoodle, keeping the children of Northwest Florida active and entertained will be easier than ever. Click the blue button below to start your day the dance party way!
Covid-19: Through The Eyes Of A Child
Webinar Series
Dear Parents & families,

Please join us for the first of four webinars from the COVID-19 Through the Eyes of a Child mental health series on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 12:30pm CST. This will be a live webinar with a Mental Health Professional, Denise Folsom, the first topic of discussion will be “Making Sense of Children’s Thinking and Behavior”. Please take a moment to register for this webinar by clicking HERE .

Additionally, we will be sending out registration invitations for the three remaining live mental health webinars in the coming days. For future webinar reminders and other resources be sure to follow us on Facebook , Instagram , and/or Twitter
Florida Department of Health / Centers for Disease Control
Tips and Infographics
*Explaining why you should stay home when sick and how germs are spread.
In times of incredible stress staying home may not be the safest option. The Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline is available 24/7 via phone at 1-800-962-2873, or text to 1-800-955-8771. For domestic violence support and assistance, the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached via phone at 1-800-500-1119, or text to 1-800-621-4202, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

To speak with a local domestic violence representative, please call the phone number associated with your county of residence below.

Bay County: (850) 769-7989

Gulf/Calhoun Counties: (850) 229-2901

Franklin County: (850) 653-7170

Holmes/Jackson/Washington Counties: (850) 415-5999
Family Fundamentals
Positive Parenting Practices
Amidst the chaos of schools and office closures, spring break cancellations, and frantic grocery hoarding, do you also feel the need to take on the full weight of your child’s education? Don't worry - you're not alone! You might be thinking, right now, how on earth am I supposed to be my child’s teacher on top of everything else? Take a deep breath. Now, say this out loud: “I am not my child’s teacher. I am their parent.” Click the blue button below to learn more.
Coping with anxiety during COVID-19 is daunting but it doesn't have to stay that way. Click the blue button below to learn strategies to help you manage feelings of stress during this time.
Healthy and happy childhoods start now, and they start with you. Young children experience the world through their relationships with parents and other caregivers. Children and families thrive when they have access to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. These relationships and environments are the key to creating positive childhood experiences. Click the blue button below to learn more.

Family Fundamentals
Parent Survival Guide
By specializing in simple science experiments, math games and craft projects with items you can find around the house, the goal is simple, to foster a love of learning and keep the children entertained and interested at the same time. Click the video above to enjoy their channel!
With high amounts of transitional discomfort and stress around, take a moment and relax by creating and watching your very own Calming Sensory Bottle! Click the video above to review the materials list and make your own today!
DIY & Craft Activities
via Kaplan Early Learning Company
The Burlap Butterflies Craft is a creative and interactive activity that encourages artistic exploration and fine motor development. Using burlap, Kwik Stix, and feathers, children will be able to create a butterfly of their very own. As they decorate their butterflies, they will be developing the fine motor skills needed to use writing utensils and other art supplies.When utilizing the crafts & DIY activities listed below, your children will be promoting their physical and mental development. Creativity is often messy, but it is also instinctual. In order for young children to learn they must play, and luckily for us the blue buttons below will help you and your child express yourselves through various artistic mediums.
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