(Please visit: https://elcnorthflorida.org/covid-19-status-and-resources/ for additional information.)
During this time of uncertainty we have expanded our daily cleaning and sanitation efforts to ensure a safe environment. We continue to monitor and follow CDC guidelines, taking recommended preventive steps to protect yours and our well-being. As you all may or may not know, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Department of Health (DOH) are responsible for the health and safety of children in childcare settings.
The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida is responsible for the administrative oversight of school readiness and VPK funding, but we do not have the authority to make decisions regarding health and safety matters. We are working in collaboration with the Division of Early Learning, the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Health to assist providers in getting updated information as it is received. We are gathering information related to center closings and openings, so this information can be disseminated to parents as requested.
What we are doing with Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS) is:
* Supporting early learning programs and helping them stay safely open to meet community needs, particularly for first responders and others like hospital workers who provide an essential service.
* FDOE is working on additional guidance, particularly in terms of financial supports for programs that remain open and have low attendance and for programs that may have emergency closures.
* This ELC and ECS provide an essential service and we are trying to remain open for as long as possible. Even if we have to close we will continue to provide services to families.
* Our Continuity of Operations Plans includes having our staff work from home, conduct family interviews over the telephone, and providing other supports online and by telephone.
* We are taking all the recommended precautions in our buildings and with our staff.
Dawn E. Bell, CEO
Early Learning Coalition of North Florida
5/27 – Update on Child Care Centers:
Please see Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-131 that lifts restrictions on child care programs and allows summer camps and youth programs to become operational effective as of May 22, 2020.
As a result of the Executive Order, please see the following updates on capacity and group sizes for all registered and licensed child care providers:
- Are there limitations on capacity? Only limitations on capacity as licensed. Providers are encouraged to consider recommendations for group sizes and social distancing measures issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Are there limitations on group sizes? No; however, the CDC recommends that group sizes remain small and that there be no mixing of one group with another group.
For licensing ratios, the Office of Child Care Regulation or the local licensing agency, will continue to monitor and cite for any violations.