May 8, 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.
Please join us for the last of the four webinars from the COVID-19 Through the Eyes of a Child mental health series on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 12:30 pm CST. This will be a live webinar with Mental Health Professional, Denise Folsom. This week's topic of discussion will be “Breaking It Down: The Ever Changing World of School-Agers and How to Respond”. Please take a moment to register for this webinar by clicking HERE .
Additionally, to review the first three webinars click HERE . 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
Family Fundamentals
Positive Parenting Practices
Developing emotional intelligence starts in early childhood. Every interaction with parents, caregivers, siblings and friends gives your child information about their emotional world.
Your parenting choices can influence your child’s emotional development. Your child’s emotional awareness and how they handle feelings can impact lifelong their happiness and wellbeing.  Growing up healthy goes beyond eating a well-balanced diet, sleeping, having playmates and getting an education. Learn how and when your children develop emotional intelligence and self-control by clicking the link below!
The Office of Early Learning has released their Parent Pages May edition. This month's newsletter features the following and more...

  • Structure in Home Leads to Healthy Development

  • Saying Goodbye to Preschool & Hello to Kindergarten! 

  • Sunscreen Summer Challenge

  • PBS for Parents

To view this month's edition of Early Learning Parents' Pages click the image above!
Shubert’s Home in Bug Valley offers practical, room-by-room examples of Conscious Discipline implementation in the home. Explore the Living Room, Kitchen, Bedrooms and more to discover tips, tools, tricks and videos designed to help parents and families bring the principles and practices of Conscious Discipline to life. Click through the 12 areas of Shubert’s Home to find valuable resources that will help you build a foundation of safety, connection and problem-solving in your family’s home.

During these challenging times, we’re witnessing extraordinary shifts in how families, students, educators and administrators engage in the teaching and learning process. As pioneers in technology-based educational supports, the Lastinger Center has a suite of free and readily available online resources available during these unprecedented times. Click the button below to review the resources and activities.
The Lastinger Center has partnered with the  Florida Grade Level Reading Campaign  to offer parents of young children with easy-to-implement tips and strategies to build early language and literacy skills right at home. Make sure to check out the corresponding  videos  to see these tips in action! Click the link below to review tip sheets for parents and caregivers.

Family Fundamentals
Occupational Therapy Activities
Monster Movement Occupational Therapy

Click HERE t o review Occupational Therapy (OT) activities that can be used as part of home therapy sessions. This week's focus is on Monster Movement occupational therapy activities that cover a variety of areas. The slide deck can be used for gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, visual motor skills, and finally, a self-regulation check-in. Each activity in the collection involves movement activities that build specific skills. Click the button below to review this month's OT calendar!
Outdoor Activities
 via Kaplan Early Learning Company
Outdoor learning is an ideal way to introduce children to their world through a unique lens. When we take children outside, we introduce them to a space where free thinking and symbolic play offers them a portal into their imaginations. The outdoors provides the perfect environment to build their emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills and creative thinking!
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