April 1, 2020
We created a website page to keep you safe and up-to-date with COVID-19 Updates !
Please report any closures or program changes due to COVID-19 to the Redline .
Updated DCF Guidelines
In response to COVID-19, the Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Care Regulation, recommends all childcare providers follow the guidelines listed below.
  • Prohibit any person except the following from accessing an operation: operation staff; persons with legal authority to enter, including law enforcement officers, Child Care Licensing staff, and Department of Children and Families protective services staff; professionals providing services to children; children enrolled at the operation; and parents or legal guardians who have children enrolled and present at the operation.

  • Ensure that each child is provided individual meals and snacks.

  • Require pickup and drop-off in the lobby/entry way of the operation, unless it’s determined that there is a legitimate need for the parent to enter an operation. For example, meet the parent at the pickup area and escort the child to the parent.
  • Do not serve family style meals.

  • Before allowing entry into the operation, screen all individuals listed above and deny entry to any person who meets any of the following criteria through verbal survey:
  • Do you have a fever of 100.4 or higher?
  • Have you had any respiratory infection, or have had a cough, shortness of breath, and low-grade fever?
  • In the previous 14 days, have you had any contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; is under investigation for COVID-19; or is ill with a respiratory illness?
  • In the previous 14 days, have you traveled on a cruise or internationally to countries with widespread, sustained community transmission?

To review the official DCF document, please click the blue button below.
Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan
Effective immediately, eligible small businesses interested in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program, a short-term loan designed to help business owners bridge the gap between the time of impact and when the business has secured long-term assistance, should apply for the program through one of two following ways:

Small businesses that have applied for the bridge loan program in response to COVID-19 should not submit an additional application. 

Also, we, at the Coalition, encourage you to stay informed by subscribing to the Florida DEO email updates for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, please contact your local SBA office and resource partners.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
COVID-19 Reemployment Assistance
If your employment has been negatively impacted as a result of the mitigation efforts in Florida to stop the spread of COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance. Please review the list below for eligibility requirements.

  • Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency.
  • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

To apply for assistance and review the list of required documentation please click the blue button below!
Paid Leave & Tax Credits
The Internal Revenue Service is highly aware of COVID-19 and the impact it is having on small businesses. Please review the NEW paid leave tax credits listed below.

  • Small and midsize employers can officially claim two new refundable payroll tax credits to reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing employee leave related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Businesses with less than 500 employees can get funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.

To take immediate advantage of new paid leave credits, businesses can retain and access funds that they would otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes. Learn more about this tax opportunity and other IRS information related to COVID-19 outbreak by clicking the blue button below and consult your tax professional.
No Kid Hungry: Emergency Relief Grants
The Florida Afterschool Network is partnering with No Kid Hungry Florida to get this emergency grant resource into the hands of afterschool providers across the state. These funds will provide meals to families during these uncertain times and we applaud No Kid Hungry for making their resources available.

Areas of funding support include: non-congregate and home delivered meals, emergency meals programs and extended meals service, school and community pantries, backpack programs, and other identified opportunities to address the growing number of children and families who may lose access to meals. Please submit your details by clicking the blue button below to determine if your organization is eligible for funding.
COVID-19 Mitigation Micro-Grant
The Coalition is reimbursing up to $500.00 for contracted School Readiness providers for their COVID-19 mitigation expenditures. Providers must complete the COVID-19 Mitigation Micro-Grant Application and upload receipts showing materials, supplies, or services purchased between March 1, 2020- April 10, 2020. To qualify for the micro-grant, your program must have already been a School Readiness provider as of 3/1/2020. School Readiness providers can receive only one micro-grant per contracted location. Grant applications will be accepted through 4/10/2020. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 Mitigation Micro-Grant please send them through the Redline. To access the application click on the Micro-Grant button or scan the QR code.
ASQ Screenings
The Coalition will continue to send emails to Providers with the updates of children needing ASQs due to new enrollments or annual birthdays.  If a SR Provider is unable to complete the ASQ due to circumstances related to COVID-19 (child absences, teachers absences, program closed) please reply to the email indicating the reason the provider is unable to complete the ASQ . Please send questions to the Redline .
Available Rule Workshops
Don't let COVID-19 stop you from becoming the best version of yourself. Take this time to stay up to date on the latest OEL rule workshops below. Please click the workshop date and time link below to register for any specific workshop.
Rule 6M-4.200 SR Eligibility Provisions/.208 Documenting Eligibility for the SR Program

Tuesday, April 7, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m . EDT or until business is concluded, whichever is earlier.
Rule 6M-4.735 Professional Development Standards and Career Pathways

Thursday, April 2, 2020, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or until business is concluded, whichever is earlier.

Thursday, April 2, 2020, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. or until business is concluded, whichever is earlier.
New Program Offered to ELC Children, Families and Child Care Staff
In light of recent events, the Coalition will be offering support services including the opportunity to talk with mental health specialists who can help provide information, support, and even counseling.

These services are free to the children and families in your care as well as child care center staff. Sessions can be conducted via phone or video until it is safe to meet in person. These services are confidential and are designed to help in this time of increased stress and uncertainty.

There are many ways that we can help. We can explain the current health crisis to young children, develop plans to deal with the isolation associated with social distancing, advice on handling increased fears/anxieties or other needs in the family. Sessions typically meet once a week for 50 minutes at a time that is convenient for all.

If you are interested please submit a request to the Learning Line !

When submitting requests please include the following:
  • Your name
  • The name of the person/child you are requesting theses service for
  • Place of employment
  • Email address
  • Phone number
Understanding How Children Respond to Stress
In times of confusion and uncertainty it is crucial to remember people of all ages experience stress. From everyday stressors, like general anxiety, to major life-changing stressors. like abuse or disasters, all stress ranges have the ability to either help people improve or hinder their success. Children are at a disadvantage when dealing with stress, due to their lack of experience, thus making it especially harmful and disruptive for children. Click the blue button below to understand how children respond to stress, and review Karen L. Peterson's, PhD, book  Helping Them Heal , describing the different types of stress that children may experience and how they typically react to stress.
Mental Health & Wellbeing
In times, such as these, when life seems uncertain, it is crucial that you continue to care for your own mental health and wellbeing. Please click the blue button below for tips on how to spend your time staying home or indoors.
Pre-Writing Skills
As Easter approaches, recognizing holidays as they naturally occur is super important to instill a sense of normalcy and improve morale during times of extraordinary circumstances. Click the blue button below to review the Pre-Writing Handwriting activity sure to have you hopping for joy.
Manage Your Respiratory Symptoms at Home
As COVID-19 migrates across the panhandle, we urge our providers to prepare for all possible outcomes. In the unfortunate case you are infected and your healthcare provider instructs you to manage your respiratory symptoms from home please click the blue button below and review the CDC's 10 ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home.
It is officially Child Abuse Prevention Month! We know you work tirelessly every day to ensure the children in your care are safe and properly supervised. We ask that you go BLUE this FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 , in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month! Share pictures and be sure to tag @ ELCNWF
Census 2020
The Census Bureau has acknowledged their long-term misrepresentation of young children in decennial censuses and in Census Bureau surveys. Evaluations show that Census Bureau surveys like the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation also miss young children while counting, which can result in biased survey estimates.

To combat the misrepresentation of children ages birth to four, we ask that all parents be made aware of the benefits of counting their children.

Representation and funding make a difference where it matters, and it matters here.

Click the blue button below for a list of common family situations and Census approved answers to help the families you serve complete the Census.
Don't miss out on the year-round open enrollment with Florida KidCare!

With the help of Florida KidCare, staying healthy doesn't have to be difficult.

Florida KidCare provides the families of Northwest Florida with low-cost options for health and dental insurance for children birth to 18!

For eligibility information and applications click the blue button below.
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