April 14, 2021
School Readiness Match Program Opportunity

It’s that time of year when the Coalition completes its annual School Readiness Match (SRMAT) funding request to the Office of Early Learning for the upcoming fiscal year. As you may know, this match funding, if approved by OEL, allows the Coalition to reimburse providers at 50% for certain eligible children in your program up to the maximum state-approved reimbursement rate, less parent copayments you collect. Providers commit, or “cover”, the additional 50% for a dollar-for-dollar match. Participation in this program could benefit a provider who has an employee who needs childcare, but does not qualify for regular School Readiness funding because their income is above 150% of the Federal Poverty (FPL) for initial eligibility. Families whose income is over 150% FPL ($39,750 for a family size of 4) but is less than 200% FPL ($53,000 for a family size of 4) may be determined eligible for childcare under the SRMAT funding.
 
If you are interested in participating, or would like additional information, please email the Redline no later than May 1, 2021 so we have time to complete a letter of commitment with you to include with our 2021-2022 funding request to OEL.
 
Thank you for all you do and we look forward to our continued partnership in 2021-2022!
VPK Program Updates

We know that this year has been very different from years past. If you have had calendar changes throughout the VPK year that change your program end date, please ensure that your new VPK end date is updated in the Bright Beginnings system.

  • If your VPK Program will be ending in May 2021, the VPK Assessment window will open in April 2021.
  • VPK Assessments for AP3 must be completed within the last 30 days of the VPK Program.
  • Remember to document the date of the assessment on the outside cover of the booklet
The Bright Beginnings system will lock 15 days after the VPK Program end date. It is very important that you check your end date on Bright Beginnings.
 
The 2021-2022 VPK Application will not be issued until the CURRENT VPK Program has ended.
Providers on Probation must have an APPROVED Improvement Plan in place for at least 30 days prior to receiving an Advance Payment, and for at least 30 days prior to offering VPK instruction for the next VPK Program Year. Contracts will not be finalized until the 2020-21 VPK Verification is completed.

If you are planning on doing Summer VPK please contact Robin Schwab at 850-747-5400 ext. 128. We will use this information to create the Summer VPK 2021 potential provider listing.
Child Assessments

Reminder that if you are wanting to do Child Assessments for the 2021-22 contract year, the deadline to purchase seats/slots is June 1, 2021. To purchase those slots, you must have an active subscription to one of the three approved OEL Child Assessment Vendors listed below:

TS Gold: Technical Support: Help Desk 1-866-736-5913; Technical Support Email  
ATI-Galileo: Technical and Service Support: 1-866-457-8776 
COR Advantage: Help Desk 1-857-600-1540; Help Desk Email
If you do not have a subscription by June 1, 2021, you will not be able to participate in Child Assessments or receive the differential payment.
Once you have purchased your subscription, please send proof of purchase to jenna.drew@elcnwf.org
August 1, 2021 is the deadline to upload the reliability certificates for your teachers in QPS. You must have reliability certificates for 75% of your personnel, as defined by Rule 6M-4.620. If you fail to make those updates in QPS by August 1, 2021, the Coalition will amend your contract to remove Child Assessments and remove the differential payment.
If you have any questions or need any assistance please reach out to one of our Contract Specialists.
A Note from the Quality Team

We wanted to let you know that Consumable Kits for School Readiness Classrooms are on their way to SR Providers. Please Do Not open the boxes just yet. The Coalition will be in contact with you to retrieve the packaging slip and verify the contents of the package.
EFS Mod Update - Developmental Screenings

OEL recently emailed all SR providers about the new functionality in the statewide Provider Portal regarding the completion of Child Developmental Screening Questionnaires online.

Some things to note:
  • There will now be an option for families to complete their child’s developmental screening questionnaires online once the child’s enrollment is complete in EFS Mod. ​
  • Families will have five days to complete the screening or defer to the provider. ​
  • On the statewide Provider Portal, you will have access to a new “Preschool Development > Developmental Screening” menu item. Screenings assigned to you for completion as the responsible party are listed in the incomplete work queue. Screening records for enrolled children are available via the Search page. ​
  • The screening questionnaires have not changed. ​
  • ELCNWF will provide additional guidance on updated procedures as needed once we have been able to evaluate the system's functionality and impact for annual screenings. 
For additional guidance and training about the developmental screening process for families and providers, see the updated Provider Portal user guide and OEL's YouTube channel for Provider Portal tutorial videos.
These are also available on the Provider Information page at elcnwf.org

This year has been incredibly tough on families across the country, and young children have been dealing with a flood of big emotions, including stress, fear, grief, anger, sadness, and loneliness. These five universal practices can help support positive behavior in your classrooms.
Help Me Grow Screening Event

HMG is available to offer free developmental screenings to the private-pay parents of your program.

Reserve a FREE Books, Balls, and Blocks Screening Event at your center today!
Early Childcare Provider's Guide to Managing Challenging Behaviors

Autismspeaks.org offers a toolkit for early childcare providers to better manage challenging behaviors in a childcare setting. It describes intervention strategies and positive behavioral supports to help class time go more smoothly. This toolkit also briefly describes Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), basic developmental milestones, and potential developmental red flags to monitor.
The tool kit is broken down into 3 sections:
-Learn the Basics: Includes an overview of autism, understanding behavior, myths and misconceptions, and more.

-Putting into Practice: Includes strategies to use, function communication training, task analysis, visual schedules, and more.

-Extras: Includes teaching children to ask for help, visual supports, reinforcer assessment grid, and more.
Month of the Military Child

Month of the Military Child highlights the important role military children play in the armed forces community. Military children and families make sacrifices and must overcome many challenges, especially as it relates to child care. Imagine the effort it takes to build relationships with teachers, classmates, friends, and neighbors; and adjust to a new school, community, neighborhood, and home. Then, they have to physically and emotionally uproot and repeat this process every three years.
Sesame Street offers a whole site dedicated to Military Families. If you are not familiar with the site, check out below for all the valuable resources that Sesame Street has to offer to Families as well as Providers who support the Military Families in our community.
Put Prevention in Motion with Pinwheels

In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America® launched the Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign as a grassroots effort for individuals and organizations across the U.S. to take action. The campaign promotes healthy child development while raising awareness to prevent child abuse and neglect—before it ever happens. Have your kids plant a pinwheel garden to show your support for the cause.

  1. Organize a pinwheel coloring activity for your children
  2. Plant a pinwheel garden at your center
You are invited to a Zoom webinar!

When: April 15, 2021 11:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Topic: Application/Registration Fee vs. Annual Enrollment Fee

Click the button below to join the Zoom meeting at the designated time.
If you missed the March Know the New Provider ZOOM presentation regarding the changes coming for enrollments in Pending Family Acceptance (PFA), please take a moment to review the PowerPoint here.
Transition to Kindergarten Regional Summit - North Region

Tuesday April 20, 2021 to Wednesday April 21, 2021
8:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Registration for the Florida Office of Early Learning 2021 Transition to Kindergarten Regional Summit is now open! Be sure to sign up today to reserve your spot.

These virtual sessions span two half days and are intended to help preschool and public school educators as they plan ways to support the transitional changes children and families face when moving from Pre-K to kindergarten.
Be sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for the registration button.
VPK Open Enrollment Provider Tool Kit

VPK Registration for the 2021-22 school year is underway. We as a Coalition are promoting VPK and encouraging families to enroll their 4-year-olds for the Summer/Fall programs. Our new "Ready, Set, Enroll" campaign has hit the market and we have created additional marketing materials for our VPK Providers to leverage for their own open enrollment efforts. In this digital tool kit you will find:
 
  • All "Ready, Set, Enroll" logo files
  • Flyers/Posters (print to distribute or post)
  • Letter to Parent Templates (current or prospective enrollees)
  • Social Media Asset
  • Tip Sheet for Parents
  • My First Day of VPK sign
 
Additionally, we will be distributing Yard Signs to those Providers who are interested in receiving one.
If you are having trouble accessing the files via Dropbox, or have any questions about how to use the tools, please send all inquiries to redline@elcnwf.org.
The Coalition is excited to announce that we will be offering a series of Making the Most of Classroom Interactions (MMCI) classes to our providers. To determine where we will host these in-person trainings, we kindly request your feedback by completing the MMCI Interest Survey below.
 
MMCI is an interactive course for teachers and directors. The instructor will provide in-person training to assist teachers and directors on how to identify, understand, and apply stronger CLASS® interactions to their classrooms. These classes will be offered in 2-hour sessions, once a week, for 12 weeks, and usually in the evenings. (More information to follow on the course schedule)
Reimbursement for Background Screenings

The Coalition will assist School Readiness providers in obtaining and sustaining the early childhood education workforce by providing reimbursement for background screenings completed for employees hired on or after July 1, 2020.
The deadline for background screening reimbursement documentation submission will be June 1, 2021.

To process your request, please download and complete the reimbursement application form. Send your application and your proof of purchase to kimberly.sheff@elcnwf.org.

The documentation provided for reimbursement will need to include:
  1. The agency payment was made to
  2. The date the purchase was made

Please send questions to redline@elcnwf.org.
Rock the Block Party
 
We would like to show our support for teachers and their classrooms and are excited to announce a new block quality initiative that supports block play. "Rock the Block Party" is a 2-hour virtual teacher training. As you know, block play builds on physical, cognitive, social and emotional, and language developmental skills.  ​
Teachers participating in this initiative will receive:​
  • unit blocks for their participating classroom​
  • a teacher stipend for attending the 2-hour virtual training​
  • a teacher stipend for participating in (2) Communities of Practice

Please send email to karen.waymire@elcnwf.org if you have teachers interested in participating. 
Deadline to sign up to participate is April 19, 2021. 
The Coalition will be hosting two (2) Frog Street Curriculum Trainings. Due to social distancing there will be limited seats available, so we kindly request please that you use the sign-up link below to register.
Frog Street In-Person Training
     Tuesday, April 20th
6:00PM to 7:15PM​
          Panama City's Coalition Office​
    We are limited to 15 seats
Frog Street In-Person Training
      Thursday, April 29th
6:00PM to 7:15PM​
          Chipley's Coalition Office​
    We are limited to 8 seats
As OEL is reviewing VPK success rates between VPK vs. Non-VPK programs across the state, the Coalition wanted to remind you about the OEL sponsored Virtual Study Buddies (VSB) opportunities, to assist VPK teachers as they review for the end of course assessments that are required for some of the VPK trainings. These sessions are FREE and provide an opportunity for participants to ask clarifying questions and get a better understanding of the course content that they will be testing on.  
Celebrate Professional Development

The Coalition recognizes how challenging it can be for a teacher to take steps to further their education while working in childcare. Because we know the value of investing in your education and career, we will be offering a stipend to eligible teachers that have completed approved college level early learning coursework or received their CDA after July 1, 2020. 
Let us know who in your organization is taking their professional development to the next level.​

To receive a stipend, eligible teachers will need to:​
  • Provide proof of finished course work that has been ​completed after July 1, 2020. The deadline for submission is May 15, 2021.
Upcoming NAEYC Accreditation Learning Labs

FLAEYC has partnered with NAEYC to bring you a series of official accreditation learning labs at no cost to centers across Florida. This series is designed to help centers achieve, renew or just explore achieving NAEYC accreditation - the gold standard in quality early learning. 
Putting it All Together: Portfolio Creation
Tuesday, April 20, at 1:00 p.m. ET via Zoom
This 90-minute session provides strategies on how to streamline your program and classroom portfolios to be able to focus on what matters most. This training is recommended for programs that understand the accreditation process and are ready to begin pursuing accreditation but are looking for guidance on the portfolio assembly process.
 
This session is free for all child care providers in Florida. You do not have to be a FLAEYC member, but registration is required.
Accreditation 101:Understanding the Accreditation Process and Expectations
Tuesday, May 4, at 1:00 p.m. ET via Zoom

This 90-minute session provides an overview of the four-step process for achieving NAEYC Accreditation. This training is recommended for programs that are not currently accredited and who are embarking on their initial accreditation.
 
This session is free for all child care providers in Florida. You do not have to be a FLAEYC member, but registration is required.
COVID-19 Vaccinations

New eligibility guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinations in Florida.
 
  • Beginning April 5, all individuals age 18 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
 
Pre-registration for the vaccine is recommended. Once pre-registered, you will be contacted when the vaccine is available in your area. You can also call the vaccine preregistration phone number for your county, listed here.
It has been a while since we have recognized an amazing teacher in our area, and we know there are many of them out there! We want to help you recognize teachers in your centers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. During the last week of this month, one teacher will be chosen for a prize in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the children they teach every day. You can nominate teachers from your centers by the 30th of every month by sending the following information through the Redline :

  • Photograph of the teacher (can be a head-shot or photo of them in action) 
  • Short paragraph about who they are
  • One thing (or more) this teacher has done to go above and beyond the call of duty 

Let's see those nominations flood the redline!
We are looking for parents to join the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC)

Download a copy of the flyer by clicking the button below. Please make sure all parents in your center receive a copy of this flyer. You can print to send home with each of your children, or you can simply post the flyer on your social media page.
Florida KidCare

In a time when the health and safety of our community are most important, help keep the children in your center insured.
 
Encourage families in your centers to contact ELCNWF for information and assistance applying for Florida KidCare. Call 850-747-5400 X 108 or request CCR&R via the link below!
April Special Dates

National Child Abuse Awareness Month
Month of the Military Child
National Autism Awareness Month
Every Kid Healthy Week – Last Week in April

April 18th
National Animal Crackers Day

April 21st
National Kindergarten Day
National Administrative Professionals’ Day

April 22nd
Earth Day
Teach Children To Save Day


April 23rd
National Picnic Day

April 27th
National Tell a Story Day

April 28th
National Superhero Day

April 30th
Arbor Day
We exist to grow healthy children, parents, and the relationship between them.
Sponsored by the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida and the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning