April 3, 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 copayment 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 25 family friendly field trips.
With everyone staying at home and e-learning happening everywhere, finding and creating fun time might seem difficult, but these cute and quirky scavenger hunts will keep you and your little active and entertained.
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
*Social distancing explained to children
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, 1-800-962-2873, or text,1-800-955-8771. For domestic violence support and assistance, the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached via phone,1-800-500-1119, or text,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
Emotional Support
While sheltering in place with children it is crucial to consider situational discomfort and behavior changes. Please take a moment and click the blue button below to review the Positive Parenting article explaining the various changes your child may exhibit in the coming weeks. For more information on talking with your child and dealing with current feelings, please select the video below.
Children often find it difficult to verbalize their feelings. Help them understand their emotions and talk about how and why we react the way we do while watching the video above.
Family Fundamentals
Parent Survival Guide
Keeping your cool while quarantining may not be fun, but it can be a game. With the assistance of Parenting Let's Make A Game Of It, you'll discover There are many parenting styles, each having various techniques. One technique, playful parenting, is effective in many ways. Not only will parenting be easier, but you’ll also lower everyone’s stress level, which is essential during a crisis time. For more information on playful parenting please click the blue button below.
As the spread of COVID-19 causes disruption coast to coast. The experts at Confident Parent Confident Child believe this is the time to dig deep and take deliberate action to make sure you and your family stay mentally healthy. Even small acts of care for yourself is incredibly important, take some time to watch a TV show that makes you laugh, take two minutes each day to write down something you’re grateful for, or talk honestly and privately about how you feel with a friend.

Please remember that while we practice social distancing, there are still many ways to stay in touch with other parents, friends, and family to share support, and stay connected while staying-in.
Know the Difference with Florida Rx
Sensory Bin Activities
via Kaplan Early Learning Company
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream sensory fun! When utilizing the Sensory activities listed below your children will exercise their fine motor skills while simultaneously promoting their physical and emotional development. In order for young children to explore and understand new information, they must exercise the use of their senses, luckily for us s ensory play stimulates multiple senses and can easily be created at home! Click the blue buttons below to create your own Sensory Bins TODAY!
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