May 29, 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. 
Family Fundamentals
From Maintaining Mindfulness to Finding Your Zen
Add mindfulness to your kid's day
26 Phrases to Calm an Angry Child
Manage Stress & Build Resilience for Kids
From taking in new surroundings to exploring sensory play, adding some mindfulness to your kid's daily routine has never been simpler. Click below to learn more!

Whether your child has a slow-burning fuse or explodes like a firecracker, every child can benefit from anger management skills. As you put your best foot forward try one of the ideas linked below!
Does your child struggle with chronic worry or anxiety? The GoZen! anxiety relief program teaches your child how to understand and control their worry. To learn more click below!

Helpful Tips and Talking Points
Helping Children Cope with Emergencies
How to Talk with Young Children About COVID-19
Regardless of your child’s age, he or she may feel upset or have other strong emotions after an emergency. Some children react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty much later. How a child reacts and the common signs of distress can vary according to the child’s age, previous experiences, and how the child typically copes with stress. Review the article linked below to find coping methods for your child.
Kids are observant. They soak in what’s around them and take their cues from the adults in their lives. In these situations, adults can  lead by example  in the ways we  cope with stress  and talk with others about COVID-19. Parents, family members, and other trusted adults can play an important role to help children make sense of what they see and hear about COVID-19 in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. Click the linked below to review some ways that you can minimize their stress and ease their worry about COVID-19.
Family Fundamentals
Moving From May and Jumping Into June
With a list of 25 easy indoor exercise ideas to do with kids at home. It's really simple for a family to integrate movement and exercise into any day. Most of these can be done right in your living room, and will even work in tight city apartments (or hallways). Click the link below to learn more!
Spell your name workout fitness activity printable for kids. Your kids will get a workout without realizing it when you make fitness into a fun game. We also recommend checking out the  Simon Says Workout  for Kids. Click below to learn more!
The easy fitness activities for kids make exercise so much fun that your children won't notice they're working out. When you motivate children to exercise, they'll be happier, healthier, and more focused. Click the link below to learn more.

Family Fundamentals
Animated Stories
Giraffes Can't Dance

This is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it's harder for a giraffe than you would think.
LeapFrog Letter Sounds Song

Learn the letter sounds with LeapFrog. This video is a great way to reinforce letter-sound associations and practice reading words in phonetically regular patterns.
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 KidCare offers quality, affordable health & dental insurance for ALL FL children from birth through the end of age 18! Children are eligible for head to toe coverage, even if one or both parents are working. Click the link below and use code ELC5 to receive an expedited application process.
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