April 24, 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.
Dear Parents & Families,
Please join us for the second of four webinars from the COVID-19 Through the Eyes of a Child mental health series on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm CDT. This will be a live webinar with a Mental Health Professional, Denise Folsom. This week's topic of discussion will be “In Touch: What Impacts Infants and Toddlers & How to Respond”. Please take a moment to register for this webinar by clicking HERE .
Additionally, we will be sending out registration invitations for the two 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 .  
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.
Maintaining healthy children and parents is the Coalitions highest priority! With high amounts of transitional discomfort and stress surrounding you and your child, take a moment and relax mindfully with your child by watching the video above and letting go of your balloon.
We often forget mundane parts of our body that do so much for us everyday. Talk about the little things we don’t notice on/about our bodies or in our homes that help us all the time, like keys and eyelashes. It’s amazing what you realize when you pay attention to small details and kids are expert observers once they get started!
Florida Department of Health / Centers for Disease Control
Tips and Infographics
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
Positive Discipline teaches your child’s heart and mind at the same time. Learn how to change your child’s behavior without using punishments, yelling or bribes by clicking the blue button below.

Research shows  that spending time in nature reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Next time you and your child go for a walk, focus on your sense of sight. Take turns naming each objects and living things you see as you pass by: “blue house, fluffy puppy, oak tree, red mailbox, camelia bush” and so on. Intentionally noticing what you see, then letting it go as you walk by is a gentle, playful way to ground yourself in each moment.
Explore Noggin — the learning app from the experts at Nick Jr. 
For a limited time, get 60 days FREE! Noggin is brought to you by the experts with over 30 years of preschool "edutainment" experience.
Family Fundamentals
Parent Survival Guide
Do scary noises and a vivid imagination keep your child up at night? If so, click on the video above and enjoy listening to No More Noisy Nights, then have a discussion about the noisy nights your child has.
Your child tests limits with you because they trust you will love them no matter what. But that doesn't mean you can't borrow a few strategies from the preschool teachers' playbook to get the best from your child.
Literacy Activities
via Kaplan Early Learning Company
Looking for a way to entertain children when on a trip or running errands? This DIY Busy Binder provides fun activities that focus on math, STEM, fine motor skills, literacy, and art. Many parents and teachers worry about retention as children take a break from school, but these monkey-themed busy bags provide an extended learning opportunity outside of the classroom. The Five Little Monkeys Busy Bags featured in the binder will keep children entertained and engaged during road trips, plane rides, or just around the house!
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