March 11, 2020
Don't Miss Out!
Saturday, March 14, 10am - 1pm
This year’s celebration of the arts will be hosted in Chipley, FL on Saturday, March 14, at Chipley’s Shivers Park from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

This year’s event is going to be more diverse than year’s past with the addition of STEAM learning.

The Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida is proud to work alongside HNTB, a local architecture firm, to host an engineering corner supervised by local practicing architects. After all, the children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. You can also expect to see other prominent organizations such as: The 2020 Census Bureau, Troy University, Florida KidCare, and Florida Panhandle Technical College.There will also be food and beverages provided by First Federal Bank of Chipley and Tri-County Community Council. Children will even have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Chipley Police Department while painting one of their many police cars.

We look forward to seeing you there!
We are so excited to share the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida has been selected to be a part of the Community Bag Program, which is designed to make it easy for customers to contribute to their local community while supporting the environment. For the month of APRIL, each time a $2.50 reusable Community Bag is purchased at any of the 10 Winn-Dixie stores located in Bay County, $1 will be donated to the Coalition, unless otherwise directed by the customer through the Giving Tag. Also, if you live outside of Bay County and would like to participate, don't worry! The Giving Tag Program runs all year long. All you have to do is purchase the Community Bag at any Winn-Dixie store and follow the instructions on the attached Giving Tag to direct the $1 donation to our organization. This is a great way to raise awareness, support the environment and fundraise for our cause. To learn more about this program and locate your nearest Winn-Dixie, please click the blue buttons below.
Caring Reminders from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
Fred Rogers Productions and WETA Station Relations would like to share some tips from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on how caregivers can relieve children’s insecurities and fears during stressful and challenging times.

  • Provide safe ways for children to express their feelings. For a Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood activity sheet click HERE!

  • Listen carefully to what your children are talking about. Acknowledge their feelings. Give them the words to describe how they feel such as, “It sounds like you’re feeling ‘scared,’ ‘unsure about what’s going to happen next,’ ‘sad,’ ‘angry.’

  • Remember to be calm and understanding when children are being clingy, whiny, or overactive. Helping them regain control of their feelings reassures them that you are keeping them safe.

  • Keep routines as familiar as possible & minimize children’s exposure to media coverage.

For more information on how to prepare the children in your care for unexpected events, click the blue button below.
Coronavirus: Guidance for Child Care Programs
This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity of coronavirus (COVID-19). The CDC will update this guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. Please check the following CDC website periodically for updated interim guidance.

Health officials are taking steps to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19. Schools and child care programs can play an important role in this effort. Through collaboration and coordination with local health departments, schools and child care programs can take steps to disseminate information about the disease and its potential transmission within their community. School and child care plans should be designed to minimize disruption to teaching and learning and protect students and staff. Plans can build on everyday practices (e.g., encouraging hand hygiene, monitoring absenteeism, communicating routinely) that include strategies for before, during, and after a possible outbreak.

For guidance on reducing the spread of illness in child care programs and/or how to plan and prepare for a possible community outbreak, please click HERE.

To download CDC fliers to post in your classroom and review Florida Department of Health information click the blue buttons below!
Provider Profile Update Assistance
Attention Providers,

On March 9, 2020, the Coalition will officially launch the process to renew both SR and VPK Contracts for the FY 2020-2021 utilizing the 2020-2021 PROFILE update. This year we are offering Technical Assistance/Contract support via virtual ZOOM meetings . Time slots are available in 15 or 30 minute increments for Providers to talk with Coalition Staff and receive assistance with the PROFILE questions and requirements.

After signing up for the ZOOM slot, parties are sent an invitation and link to meet in the ZOOM environment and can share their screen for instruction/walk through of the contract process.  Parties can ask questions and receive one on one technical assistance with the contracting process on the NEW OEL Provider Portal.

You should have the following information with you at the ZOOM Meeting:
  • W-9   Signed and dated for upload
  • Current screenshot of the SUNBIZ website showing ACTIVE and having borders showing the website and date information pulled down for upload

SR Providers ONLY:
  • Private Rate Statement as of July 1, 2020 for each age category served. You will need the information to enter in the PROFILE-Private Pay Rates and to upload it to the Document Tab.
  • List of closure dates between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Please click the blue button below to reserve your time slot NOW! ZOOM Meetings are not compatible with mobile devices, so we recommend using your computer. If you have questions about ZOOM or how these meetings will work, please email the Redline with “ZOOM” in the subject line.
Integrating the Standards: Phonological Awareness (2019)

This free instructor-led training is designed for all preschool educators! Broaden your knowledge on Florida Early Learning Developmental Standards and focus on the phonological awareness standards and benchmarks while obtaining .2 CEUs. Both training sessions will be held between 5:30pm-7:30pm. Advanced registration is required and available by clicking on either training date below.
We know that this year has been hard, and when you find the teacher that is the right fit for your center you want to try to recognize them as much as you can. While we are all still picking up the pieces from last hurricane season, we know that you and your teachers still have a job to do.

This year, the Coalition would like to help you recognize teachers in your centers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. During the last week of every 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:  

  • A photograph of the teacher (can be a head-shot or photo of them in action) 
  • A 1-paragraph biography 
  • One thing (or more) this teacher has done to go above any beyond the call of duty 

If your nominee wins, he or she must like the Coalition Facebook page and/or Twitter to be able to claim their prize. They can find us by searching @ELCNWF on both social media platforms.

We are starting this month so please get those nominations submitted by   Tuesday, March 31!
Wait List Placement Update
The Coalition is working to continue placing birth to five-year-old children from the wait list. Between the January and February funding notifications, 530 new children have been offered School Readiness funding in our seven counties. 

As of March 6, 144 children have been placed, 24 are in process of review or waiting on additional information from the parent, 30 are waiting provider approval, 27 are looking for a provider (2 Infants, 5 toddlers, 2 2yr, 1 3yr, 2 4yr, 2 5yr, and 13 Sch), 20 stated they no longer needed care, and 18 were not eligible. The Coalition is making multiple follow up contacts with parents to ensure they are aware of the funding notifications and submit their required documents.
Please look for more updates in the upcoming editions of the weekly Blasts!
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.
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