May 5, 2021
Reminder to register for the
Provider netWORK Webinar tomorrow

Please register for next week's webinar using the blue button below. You will receive a confirmation email after completing your registration.
Reminder to join Dive into Business

When: May 6, 2021 10:00 AM - 11:00AM
(Immediately following the Provider netWORK Meeting)

Dive into Business is an interactive training opportunity that focuses on topics related to your business growth, successes, challenges, opportunities, and current industry changes
Be sure to use the separate meeting invite below.
May Virtual Board Meeting
May 12, 2021 11:00 AM CDT

Don't miss the May Board Meeting!
Please call: (646) 558-8656
using meeting ID number: 882 7908 0824
and passcode: 70332401
Updated CDC Guidance for Child Care Programs during COVID-19
In mid-March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated Guidance for Operating Child Care Programs during COVID-19. In the coming months, Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) will be creating complimentary resources to support CCR&Rs and child care programs working to implement these guidelines and we look forward to sharing that information with you when we receive it. In the meantime, please click on the CDC link and review the updated guidance on their website.
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!
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.
Provider Appreciation Day - May 7th

May 7th is a special day where the staff at ELCNWF, community partners, families, and children get to say "Thank You" to our amazing childcare providers. You were “essential” long before the pandemic, and this past year has highlighted the lengths to which you are willing to go to keep your doors open to serve the children of other essential workers and the families in our community. We appreciate your dedication and commitment to providing quality early learning experiences for children.
With summertime, comes hurricane season, and May 9th - 15th is Hurricane Preparedness Week. Emergencies can be associated with weather events such as hurricanes or severe storms. Other types of emergencies that may impact child care providers include fires, electrical outages, and car/van accidents. Child care programs that have emergency/disaster plans are better able to react, protect, and respond to the needs of those involved. Here are some resources to assist with creating a plan to protect your children, staff, and business.
Sesame Street in Communities is a great resource for Educators and Providers. Here, you’ll find hundreds of bilingual multi-media tools to help kids and families enrich and expand their knowledge during the early years of birth through six, a critical window for brain development.

Their resources engage kids and adults in everyday moments and daily routines—from teaching early math and literacy concepts to encouraging families to eat nutritious foods, to serious topics such as divorce and food insecurity.
Big Heart World

Big Heart World is an initiative produced by Sparkler in collaboration with Noggin that enables parents and educators to help children explore what it means to have a “big heart” and how to grow one. This means:

  • Learning About Me — Awareness of self: identity & belonging, feelings and self-regulation
  • Learning About You — Awareness of others: empathy, appreciation of diversity
  • Learning About Us — Relationships with others: interpersonal strategies

Have your kids listen, sing, and dance along to "Like Nobody Else", the first song from Noggin’s Big Heart Beats album. And be sure to follow their site as they will release a new video every month.
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!
New Director Toolkit

A new Director Toolkit and four Professional
Learning Modules are now available as part of the
Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards website.

The Director Toolkit is designed to be an ongoing,
continuous depository for resources that support
early childhood directors, coaches, trainers and
instructors in planning and maintaining quality
preschool programs for Florida’s youngest learners.

The toolkit consists of four sections: Instructional
Leadership, Decision Making, Professional Resources to Share, and the Professional Learning Modules.
Each toolkit section contains videos, content supporting documents, links to professional articles and instructional resources to assist early childhood program directors and educators on their professional learning paths.
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. Please email the redline to request your sign.
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.
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.
Upcoming OEL Rule Workshops and Hearings

OEL held rule workshops last week regarding the Statewide SR Provider Contract Monitoring Tool and Screening of Children in the SR Program. Links to the draft rules are provided below. OEL is accepting public comments until 4:00 pm CDT (5:00 pm EDT) today, May ​5, 2021.

Rule 6M-4.630 Statewide Provider Contract Monitoring Tool for the School Readiness Program ​
Rule 6M-4.720 Screening of Children in the School Readiness Program​
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.
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!
May Special Dates

Mental Health Awareness Month
Foster Care Month
Dental Care Awareness Month
Military Appreciation Month
Bike Month
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Water Safety Month 

Small Business Week – First Week in May
Teacher Appreciation Week – 5/3 - 5/7
Hurricane preparedness week 5/9-5/15

May 5th
Cinco de Mayo

May 7th
Military Spouse Appreciation Day 
Provider Appreciation Day

May 8th
Babysitter’s Day 

May 9th
Mother’s Day


May 12th
Receptionists’ Day 

May 15th
Armed Forces Day 
Learn to Swim Day 

May 21st
Pizza Party Day 
Bike to Work Day 

May 24th
Scavenger Hunt Day

May 25th
Missing Children’s Day

May 26th
Paper Airplane Day

May 31st
Memorial 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