Providers

What you teach them today will shape their tomorrow.

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VPK

As an early childhood teacher, you play a valuable role in educating young children. In fact, the work you do each day increases a child’s chances of succeeding in school and in life. They are more likely to graduate from high school, finish college and earn more as adults. That is why we need your participation in Florida’s voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) program.

The VPK program began during the 2005-2006 school year. Public, private and faith-based providers may be eligible to deliver the program depending on whether they meet the minimum standards required in law.

VPK Provider Readiness Rates

Each year, the Florida Department of Education computes a VPK readiness rate of the children entering kindergarten.

The Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Provider Kindergarten Readiness Rate website provides information about Florida’s VPK Education Program to parents, VPK providers, and other interested parties. The website enables you to review all VPK Providers’ Kindergarten Readiness Rates.

The “Readiness Rate” measures how well a VPK provider prepares four-year-olds to be ready for kindergarten based upon the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards.

VPK providers can verify the data used to identify the children to be included in their readiness rates on the Department of Education website: https://vpkrates.floridaearlylearning.com/home.

Referrals To Your Business

Child Care Resource and Referral offers free information and referral services to families who are looking for child care. There are no charges/fees associated with a provider listing in the CCR&R database or for referrals to your program.

Our agency maintains a database of all legally operating child care programs in Clay, Nassau, Baker, Bradford, Putnam and St. Johns Counties and we are required to update this information annually. Previously we used a paper form (referred to as the Provider Update Form) to collect this information from you. We have now moved this process into the new Statewide Provider Portal.

The Provider Portal is an online database for child care providers and Early Learning Coalitions. This database is the database that we use to administer the School Readiness, CCR&R, and VPK Programs. Completing the annual provider update process in the Provider Portal is one of the first Child Care Resource & Referral components being utilized in the statewide Provider Portal.

We encourage you to complete this process and share your child care program’s information with us as it will be used on a statewide level to give state officials, agencies, the legislature and the governor’s office a picture of Florida’s child care community. Completing the provider update process is also a great opportunity to market your program, at no cost to you, to a wide range of families who may or may not know about the services you provide. Our office provides information and provider listings about available child care programs to families seeking child care.

It is critical that this information be accurate to match families up with programs that most closely match their needs.

If you have not already completed the registration process for an account, please start the process now by going to the following link:

https://providerservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/Login

After you register for an account, an ECS (Episcopal Children’s Services) staff member will activate it. Once your account is activated you will be able to complete the Provider Portal Profile, which is the online version of the Provider Update Form.

Once a Provider Portal Profile is completed, it can easily be updated on an annual or as needed basis so that your programs most up-to-date information is readily available to families seeking assistance with finding a child care provider. In the future if you become a contracted School Readiness or VPK provider, information already entered into the Provider Portal Profile will pre-populate into your contract.

The staff of CCR&R strives to provide families with the most up to date and accurate information possible about provider services.

It is important that you call us as changes occur to report changes in your hours vacancies/enrollment, rates, recent training, and any special services you may be providing. We want to help you succeed in your business of providing quality child care and early education services. For any additional questions, please contact Sarah March at 904-726-1500 x 2206 or Sarah.March@ecs4kids.org.

Other Services

Our Coalition understands that we cannot be successful without the early learning educators in our communities. We support all providers serving our VPK and school readiness (subsidized child care) children, with initiatives to strengthen and build the quality of your programs. The Coalition funds CDA/E scholarships,  a teacher coaching model, program evaluation and improvement opportunities, and accreditation support for those seeking national accreditation from state-recognized organizations.

We have contracted with Episcopal Children’s Services for most provider services. You may contact them online by clicking here.

Their specialists can work with you on these support initiatives, the Child Care Food Program, licensing questions, training and other issues.

Be sure to take advantage of training opportunities.  Many of them are free of charge and CDA/E documentable. See our “Events – Training” page for training calendars. You can also click here for child care information and resources offered by DCF.

Child Care Training Information Center

On July 1, 2005, the DCF Child Care Training Information Center (CCTIC) was launched. A team of CCTIC Specialists are available Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm, to answer questions about state-mandated training, educational exemptions and staff training requirements (CDA, CDAE, Director’s Credentials, VPK, etc). CCTIC is also responsible for processing staff credential verifications and updating/creating training transcripts.

CCTIC may be reached at 1-888-FL-CCTIC (1-888-352-2842), Fax: 850-922- 9156, email: CCTIC@thechildrensforum.com

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program

Increasing education, compensation and commitment for early childcare professionals!

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program provides scholarships for child care/early learning teachers and directors for educational costs to obtain a Child Development Associate credential or state equivalency certificate, Director’s Credential or an Associate degree in early childhood at a community college.

For more information about how to access a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship, visit their website.

The T.E.A.C.H. program works with 48 colleges, universities and vocational technical schools throughout the state as well as 14 community-based training institutions. Under management of the Forum, the Florida T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program serves as an umbrella for a variety of educational scholarship opportunities for people working in early care and education programs including family child care homes. Since 1998, more than 22,000 scholarships have been awarded. The turnover rate for these T.E.A.C.H. program participants is less than 8% – a testament to the success of this program.

Click here to learn more.

 

The Early Learning Coalition also supports child care providers through:

• Numerous workshops are offered to child care providers on many topics such as brain research, CPR/First Aid Classes, Second Step Curriculum training, science and music projects, lesson planning, communicable disease, inclusion training, playground safety and make-it and
take-it workshops. Trainings and classes are coordinated by Episcopal Children’s Services Contact ECS at (904) 726-1500 or visit: www.ecs4kids.org
• Accreditation program for private, faith-based and family child care providers.
• On-going assessments and visits to contracted child care centers and homes.
• Technical assistance is offered to providers on an on-going basis such as best practices, business practices, developmentally appropriate practices and learning environments, character development activities and healthful and safe school readiness environments to promote the enhancement of quality and promote effective teaching strategies.
• Assists centers with maintaining enrollment rosters and monthly claims.
 Annual Early Childhood Conference

Teaching resources are also available:

Preschool Express – suggestions on art, games and story time http://www.preschoolexpress.com

First-School – preschool activities and crafts http://www.first-school.ws

ABC Teach – activities, flashcards, themes and more http://www.abcteach.com

Sponsorship by the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and the state of Florida, Division of Early Learning.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida