May 4, 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. 
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 third of four webinars from the COVID-19 Through the Eyes of a Child mental health series on Tuesday, May 5, 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 “Perplexing Preschoolers: Age Appropriate Response to Crisis & How Caregivers Can Help”. Please take a moment to register for this webinar by clicking HERE .
Additionally, we will be sending out registration invitations for the one remaining live mental health webinar in the coming days. To review the first webinar click HERE . For future webinar reminders and other resources be sure to follow us on Facebook , Instagram , and/or Twitter .  
Continuity of Education
Free Educational Websites & Activities
Committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children through curriculum-based entertainment, PBS Kids offers a 360-degree approach towards learning and reaching children, leveraging the full spectrum of media and technology to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity.
Igniting the explorer in all of us for 132 years through ground- breaking storytelling from the best and brightest scientists, explorers, photographers, and filmmakers in the world. While many community events and other group gatherings have been suspended to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, the folks at National Geographic Kids® understand that children still need to experience life and all it has to offer. Click below to explore the Earth and beyond.
Maintaining healthy children and parents is the Coalitions highest priority! With high amounts of stress and anxiety surrounding you and your child, take a moment and surround yourself with nature. Be economical, ecological, and inventive by making the Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeder linked below.
Florida Department of Health / Centers for Disease Control
Tips and Infographics
Family Fundamentals
Positive Parenting Practices
Research shows  that spending time in nature reduces stress, anxiety and depression. If you're unable to get out of the house and experience nature, then you should consider creating nature at home. To review the numerous benefits of gardening from a toddlers perspective click HERE . For tips and tricks on gardening with your toddler click below.
Positive Discipline teaches your child’s heart and mind at the same time. Learn how to change your child’s behavior without using nagging, yelling or reminders by clicking the blue button below.
Teaching children how to follow directions can be a frustrating endeavor. One reason is that we rarely break directions into a simple step-by-step process. Modeling how to think about information, or demonstrating how to solve a problem, supports the child through the process while allowing for positive corrections and encouragement.
Family Fundamentals
Parent Survival Guide
As one of the largest, most influential and trusted sources of entertainment and information for millennial moms online, Scary Mommy is a community of millions of women supporting each other through acceptance, empowerment, and the shared experience of motherhood. As a parent, you are taking control of the present and shaping the future. You're scary fierce, scary proud, and scary strong. Stay Scary.
Literacy Activities
via Kaplan Early Learning Company
Transform sensory play into a groovy activity of discovery and fun with Pete the Cat DIY sensory bags. Inspired by Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, this activity encourages hands-on exploration and introduces early math concepts to children three years and up. Young learners will be excited to squish, sort, and count as they sing along with the book.
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