August 3, 2022
VPK Checklist and Excessive Absences Form
VPK Checklist

Dear VPK Providers:

Please find the attached checklist “Am I Ready for VPK” to ensure that you have everything completed prior to your VPK Program starting. If your VPK Application is not yet certified, please reach out to a Contract Specialist so the necessary changes can be made to your VPK Application. Any delay in getting the VPK Application certified will push back your start date. If you have any questions please reach out to us immediately.
SR Excessive Absence Form

Dear SR Providers:

With the new change in Rule 6M-4.500, you are now allowed to claim 3 unexcused absences and 10 absences with proper documentation for a total of 13. Attached here is the new Excessive Absence Form. Below you will find the changes to Rule 6M-4.500. Please remember that reporting absences for BG1 At Risk Children has not changed. You are still required to contact DCF for any unexcused absences for At Risk children. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to a Contract Specialist.

(a) Reimbursement shall be authorized for no more than three (3) absences per calendar month per child except in the event of extraordinary circumstances in which case the coalition or its designee shall document approval  for payment based on written documentation provided by the parent justifying the excessive absence for an additional ten (10) days. Extraordinary circumstances does not include vacation or recreational time.
       Examples of extraordinary circumstances include but are not limited to the following:
1. Hospitalization of the child or parent with appropriate documentation (i.e., doctor’s note, hospital admission),
2. Illness requiring home-stay as documented (i.e., doctor’s note, parent statement),
3. Death in the immediate family with appropriate documentation (i.e., obituary, death certificate, parent statement),
4. Court ordered visitation with appropriate documentation (i.e., court order),
5. Unforeseen documented military deployment or exercise of the parent(s) (i.e., military orders of deployment, reserve duty),
6. Doctor appointments or other health related appointments (i.e., therapy, routine). 
New DCF and DEL Courses
The Department of Children and Families’ Office of Licensing and the Department of Education’s Division of Early Learning are proud to announce the release of new courses to further support and offer new resources for early childhood education professionals. 

From Department of Children and Families’ Office of Licensing:

Trauma-Informed Care for Child Care Program Directors – Hybrid (TICDHI): The goal of this course is to assist child care programs in implementing trauma-informed care for the families they serve. Offered in a hybrid learning environment of both online and instructor-led sessions, child care program directors will form a community of practice to address the principles of trauma-informed care, supports necessary to work with child care personnel and families, and the importance of self-care. For this 40-hour course, 4.0 CEUs may be earned.

From Department of Education’s Division of Early Learning:

Building a Strong Foundation for Emergent Literacy (VIEL21): The goal of this course is to present evidence-based research and developmentally appropriate implementation strategies designed to enhance emergent literacy skills and instruction in the preschool classroom. This course is most appropriate for new VPK instructors and/or preschool instructors who are new to early childhood education. For this five-hour online course, 0.5 CEUs may be earned.

Early Literacy With Young Children (YCEL): The goal of this course is to explain the importance of early literacy and provide early childhood educators with an understanding of how to implement the Language and Literacy Domain for children ages birth through three. The course will provide applicable information and activities for educators to implement in the classroom. For this five-hour online course, 0.5 CEUs may be earned.
Mathematics With Young Children (YCMA): The goal of this course is to provide early childhood educators with an understanding of how to implement the Mathematical Thinking Domain for children ages birth through three. The course will provide applicable information and activities for educators to implement in the classroom. For this five-hour online course, 0.5 CEUs may be earned.

Trauma-Informed Care for Early Childhood (TICSR): The goal of this course is to assist early childhood educators in implementing trauma-informed care for the families they serve. This will be achieved through defining terms related to stress and trauma, recognizing the signs of trauma impacting children, explaining how trauma affects young children’s development and executive functioning, explaining strategies for decreasing stress in early childhood settings, applying tools to help children regulate emotions and behaviors and acknowledging the importance of self-care for early childhood educators. For this five-hour online course, 0.5 CEUs may be earned.

To enroll in these new courses, log into your Child Care Training Student Account.
A Message From

Dear 2021-22 and 2022-23 Contracted VPK Programs,

We are pleased to share with you some important information related to Florida’s Assessment in Student Thinking (FAST) using Star Early Literacy. Here is the memo on FAST using Star Early Literacy which includes a link to the new VPK FAST resource website.

Training sessions have been tailored to meet the individual needs of each participant based on their specific role as either a VPK director or VPK instructor. Individuals who serve as both the VPK director and instructor should attend the VPK director training.
VPK directors or individuals that serve as an on-site administrators role may register to attend the webinar training session for VPK Program Directors. Participants should only register and attend one webinar training session.
VPK instructors may register to attend the webinar training session for VPK Instructors. Participants should only register and attend one webinar training session.
If you or your staff have training questions related to FAST using Star Early Literacy, please direct them to contact the Division of Early Learning here
Continuing Education Opportunities
Florida Child Care Professional Credential
(FCCPC)

Do you have staff interested in getting their Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC)? Both Chipola College and Gulf Coast State College offer online courses for achieving your FCCPC. 

Below you will find a list of the courses that each college is offering and the start date for each one.
The Coalition can offer scholarships to FCCPC students to help pay for the courses. If you have staff that is interested in achieving their FCCPC please contact Jana Miller by emailing her at jana.miller@elcnwf.org. 

Classes begin at both Colleges on August 22, 2022. 
Chipola College: is offering CHD 1220 Child Growth and Development 1 and CHD 1430 Observing & Recording Child Behavior.
Gulf Coast State College: is offering EEC 1001 Introduction to Early Child Education.
CLASS Group Coaching
(MMCI)


Teachstone has changed the name of Making the Most of Classroom interactions (MMCI) to CLASS Group Coaching. The content is the same and it’s still the great program that will help teachers improve the quality of their interactions.

We are looking to provide CLASS Group Coaching training for teachers and directors as we move through the fiscal year 2022-2023. 

Please click on the link and complete the survey.

Points to consider as you complete the survey: 
• This training is a two-hour-a-week training that will last for 12 weeks. 
• The research that Teachstone has done has shown that the CLASS Group Coaching training is one of the best ways for teachers to improve their classroom scores which will improve the program composite score.
Activity Plans based on the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards 4-Years-Old to Kindergarten

The Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards 4-Years-Old to Kindergarten is a comprehensive document containing age-appropriate information and reflections about how young children explore, create and think. Lesson plans are available to help develop the skills that 4-year-old children should know and be able to do by the end of their prekindergarten year. There are targeted standards for 4-year-old children included in each lesson plan.
 
To find these lesson plans, click the button below: 
Florida KidCare
 
Florida KidCare offers quality, affordable health & dental insurance for ALL children in Florida from birth through the end of age 18! Children are eligible for head to toe coverage, even if one or both parents are working. Visit floridakidcare.org for information about qualifying and how to apply for health insurance at little to no cost.
August Special Dates
 
Back to School Month
American Artist Appreciation Month
Black Business Month
Family Fun Month
National Golf Month
Summer Sun Safety Month
Elvis Week (August 9-17)
Exercise With Your Child Week (August 7-13)
National Farmers Market Week (August 7-13)
August 1
Homemade Pie Day
Respect for Parents Day

August 2
National Coloring Book Day

August 4
Assistance Dog Day
Hooray for Kids Day

August 5
National Water Balloon Day
 
August 7
American Family Day
National Friendship Day
National Sisters Day
Purple Heart Day

August 9
Book Lovers Day
Co-Working Day
National Women's Day

August 10
First Day of School







August 15
National Back to School Prep Day
National Relaxation Day
World Greatness Day

August 16
National Rollercoaster Day

August 17
National Nonprofit Day

August 18
National Couple's Day
Never Give Up Day
World Breast Cancer Research Day

August 30
National Beach Day

August 31
Eat Outside Day
National Zoo Awareness Day
World Distance Learning Day
We exist to help grow healthy children, parents,
and the relationship between them.
Sponsored by the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida and the State of Florida, Division of Early Learning