Early Learning Parents’ Pages for June 2021

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Check out the following resources for parents from the Office of Early Learning for the month of June!

Click to Access Early Learning Parents’ Pages for June 2021

 

The Early Learning Coalition is the leading voice in six counties for child care. ELC works with many other local agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. Their mission is achieved by leading projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and how we assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org.

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

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

May 2021 Volunteer Newsletter

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Check out the Volunteer Newsletter for May!

Click to Access the May 2021 Volunteer Newsletter

 

The Early Learning Coalition is the leading voice in six counties for child care. ELC works with many other local agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. Their mission is achieved by leading projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and how we assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org.

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

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

[RELEASE] Early Learning Coalition Offers Assistance with Childcare

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Brighton Day CareFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: 

Teresa Matheny

Chief of Programs

Episcopal Childrens Services

904-726-1500 Ext. 247 

Cell: 904-521-6803

Teresa.Matheny@ecs4kids.org

 

Image/Caption: 

Brighton Day Care is one of many child care centers that offer services for children in North Florida. The Early Learning Coalition is accepting applications for funding for child care. Please visit www.ecs4kids.org/programs/school-readiness/ to apply. 

Full Resolution Photo Link: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Brighton-Day-April-2021-Group-Photo.jpeg

 

Early Learning Coalition Offers Assistance with Childcare

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., May 2, 2021 – Florida, akin to much of the country, has been hit hard by the Covid pandemic, and some parents of young children are caught in a cycle of not being able to work because childcare is not available or is too expensive. The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) can help parents find and afford childcare to help them return to work. Families who are in need of childcare are encouraged to contact the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida for both financial help and assistance in locating childcare. The ELC is partnering with Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS) to coordinate childcare services.  For more information, contact ECS at 904-726-1500, toll free 1-800-238-3463 or visit

www.ecs4kids.org/programs/school-readiness/.

 

The average cost for childcare in Florida is $8,400 a year. For parents hovering around the poverty level, this means that childcare is one of the factors preventing families from rising above the poverty level. Another issue is that finding childcare can be very difficult. Episcopal Children’s Services Chief of Programs Teresa Matheny explained how the ELC funding program works. 

 

“The ELC offers financial assistance to families making up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level,” said Matheny. “Once enrolled, the family can continue to receive services until they earn up to 85 percent of the Florida Median Income. In practical numbers, this means a family of three earning up to $32,580 a year is eligible for funding and can remain in the program until their income exceeds $53,601.” 

 

Currently, there are waivers in place that relax the requirements for applying services.  The waivers allow individuals who are unemployed and seeking work to apply as well as those that have had a reduction in their work hours to qualify for funding through the ELC. These waivers will expire at the end of June. 

 

Eligible families are charged a fee based on income and family size. They may be required to make up the difference between the ELC funding and the fees charged by the childcare provider.  Matheny described the financial obligation for a hypothetical parent in the ELC program. 

 

“While each preschool is different, an example of this situation would be that the parent is charged a parent fee of $5 per week. The ELC pays for $150 a week to the childcare provider. If the provider normally charges $175 a week, the parent may be asked to pay $30 a week, representing the $5 parent fee plus the $25 difference,” said Matheny. 

 

In addition to helping parents pay for childcare, ECS will help parents locate child care as well. Currently, ECS is able to get most waitlisted children into childcare within 30 days. 

 

The ELC provides child care assistance to families who meet certain income requirements and who are working or going back to school. This school readiness program is designed to increase a child’s chance of achieving future educational success. The ELC also administers and manages Florida’s FREE VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds).  For more information about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and its other programs and services, please visit, www.elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267.

 

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Sponsored by the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

 

[RELEASE] Flora and the Flamingo Return to North Florida to Teach Kids the Importance of Music and Movement

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Image/Caption: Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) volunteer Melanie Kent (AKA “The Flamingo”) with VPK student Jashanti Lyons and the children at God’s Little Creations in Palatka on April 22, 2021. They are dancing and acting out the story “Flora and the Flamingo” by Molly Idle.

Photo Link: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/IMG_9370.jpg 

Image/Caption: Children from God’s Little Creations in Palatka on April 22, 2021 creating fans before they learn the “fan dance”.

Photo Link: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/IMG_9390.jpg 

 Flora and the Flamingo Return to North Florida to Teach Kids the Importance of Music and Movement

PALATKA, Fla., April 28, 2021 – The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s (ELC) outreach team returned to North Florida for their celebrated music and movement literacy program by visiting God’s Little Creations in Palatka on Thursday, April 22. The event debuted in Clay and Baker Counties back in 2019 and took a hiatus last year due to COVID-19. Geared to 3-5 year olds, the program is meant to highlight the importance of music and movement as it pertains to a child’s learning and development.  

Books like “Rupert Can Dance” by Jules Feiffer, “Down by the Cool of the Pool” by Tony Mitten and “Flora and the Flamingo” by Molly Idle are highlighted during this program. During the reading of Flora and the Flamingo, one of the ELC volunteers dresses up as the flamingo then picks a child from the class they are visiting to join them in acting out the story. Whatever dance movement the flamingo does, Flora copies it. The children get to dance to different kinds of music and make music with bells.

Volunteers are the key to success for this program and the other themed programs that the ELC puts on, including: Space, Meet the Masters, Dinosaurs, Ocean Themed, Mother Goose “Rhymers are Readers” and Eric Carle’s World of Colors. Volunteers help the ELC in two main ways. The first is by being an outreach volunteer that assists in putting on programs. These volunteers read stories, sing songs, lead craft activities and maybe wear themed costumes – such as a shark for the ocean themed program. The second way volunteers help is by being a weekly reading volunteer to a group of local preschool children. Reading volunteers get the privilege of exposing the same group of children each week to great books and get to plant the seed of early reading.

Exposing children to the arts at a young age is very important to building their creativity.  Learning to dance or play an instrument builds confidence which is so important to early child development.  The ELC outreach team regularly puts on themed literacy programs in local childcare centers and preschool classrooms.  The goal of these programs is to expose children to quality literature and to reach important topics that children need to learn.  The children receive a FREE book relating to the theme of the program and the classroom receives a bag of teaching resources and books to further teach the topic at a later time. 

For more information about volunteering contact Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org or 904-342-2267. 

The ELC provides child care assistance to families who meet certain income requirements and who are working or going back to school. This school readiness program is designed to increase a child’s chance of achieving future educational success. The ELC also administers and manages Florida’s FREE VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds). 

For more information about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and its other programs and services, please visit, www.elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267.

 

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Sponsored by the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

The Cat in the Hat is on the Loose in North Florida for Early Literacy

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The Cat in the Hat was on the loose in North Florida during the month of March. In celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2, the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) held a drawing at its Annual Early Educators Conference for several of its counties’ child care centers and preschools to receive a Dr. Seuss program in their school. The program, put on by ELC staff and volunteers, consists of a story time with special guest “The Cat in the Hat” followed by various activities relating to Dr. Seuss books. Each child received a free copy of the book “Ten Apples Up on Top”. Teachers received a resource bag filled with a set of eight Dr. Seuss books and other related teaching materials.

The winning schools were: First Baptist Preschool in Palatka; St. John Paul Early Learning Center in Ponte Vedra; Baker Pre-K Center in Macclenny; Yulee Baptist in Yulee; The Goddard School; First Class Learning Center; Kindercare Oakleaf; Kids Kampus in Orange Park and Pinewood Christian Academy in Middleburg.  

“Promoting early literacy is a priority mission for us at the Early Learning Coalition,” said ELC’s Literacy Outreach Manager. “Getting children excited about books and making sure that all children have them can make all the difference in their success in school all during their lives.” 

In addition to hosting the Dr. Seuss programs, ELC  held a contest for the most creative Dr. Seuss themed classroom reading corner. Forty schools entered their classrooms into the contest. The first place winners are: First Baptist Preschool in Palatka and Bartram Academy in St. Johns. The three second place winners are Fernandina Beach Head Start, Rainbow Family Education Center in Starke and Bartram Academy in St. Johns. The first place winners received a Read and Learn Area Rug and the second place winners received a set of soft-sided child furniture.  

The ELC of North Florida provides child care assistance to families who meet certain income requirements and who are working or going back to school. This school readiness program is designed to increase a child’s chance of achieving future educational success. The ELC also administers and manages Florida’s FREE VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds). 

Additional Photos are here:

Putnam County:  

Photo #1 – 

Photo Download: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/First-Baptist-Palatka-Putnam-Cty.-copy.jpg

Caption: Cat in the Hat fun with children from First Baptist Preschool in Palatka as part of the Early Learning Coalition’s Early Literacy Outreach Program in March 2021. 

Picture #2 – 

Photo Download: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/First-Baptist-Palatka-Putnam-County-2.jpeg

Caption: Early Learning Coalition of North Florida Volunteer Jane Hafner having fun with the Dr. Seuss book “Ten Apples Up On Top” with children at First Baptist Preschool in Palatka as part of the Early Learning Coalition’s Early Literacy Outreach Program in March 2021. 

St. Johns County:  

Photo Download: 

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/St.-John-Paul-ELC-in-Ponte-Vedra.jpg

Caption: The Cat in the Hat receives big hugs from children at St. John Paul Early Learning Center in Ponte Vedra as part of the Early Learning Coalition’s Early Literacy Outreach Program in March 2021. 

Baker County:  

Photo Download: 

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Baker-Pre-K-Baker-County.jpg

Caption: The Cat in the Hat with children from Baker Pre-K in Macclenny holding up their new “Ten Apples Up On Top” books as part of the Early Learning Coalition’s Early Literacy Outreach Program in March 2021. 

 Clay County: 

Photo Download: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Kindercare-Oakleaf-Orange-Park-Clay-County.jpeg

Caption: The Cat in the Hat with children from Kindercare Oakleaf in Orange Park holding up their new “Ten Apples Up On Top” books as part of the Early Learning Coalition’s Early Literacy Outreach Program in March 2021. 

Nassau County: 

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Yulee-Baptist-Nassau-County.jpg

Photo Download: 

The Cat in the Hat enjoying his visit with children from Yulee Baptist Early Learning Center as part of the Early Learning Coalition’s Early Literacy Outreach Program in March 2021. 

 

 

 

For more information about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and its programs and services, please visit, www.elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267.

The Early Learning Coalition is the leading voice in six counties for child care. ELC works with many other local agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. Their mission is achieved by leading projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and how we assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org. Sponsorship by the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and the state of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

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Sponsored by the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning.


 

Ocean Themed Literacy Event at Palatka Preschool is a Splash

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A “splashing” good time was held on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at the Academy of Rising Stars Preschool in Palatka. The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s (ELC) outreach team put on an Ocean themed literacy program which introduces children to the wonders of the ocean world and its many creatures. The children painted sea shell creatures, made sand necklaces and created a squiggly octopus craft. Introducing tactile skills, the preschoolers learned how sand is made and were able to hold and feel many different types of shells while learning about mollusks.  

To end the day, each child received a free book called “Exploring the Ocean” and the classroom received a large bag of teaching resources to further teach the ocean theme to their students.  

ELC offers themed literacy programs to local child care centers all throughout the year with its goal to promote early literacy and the love of reading.  

“The children get so excited about receiving their books and many parents report how much their children shared with them about what they learned during the program,” said ELC’s Outreach Manager Joan Whitson. 

If you are in one of the six counties ELC serves in North Florida (Baker, Bradford, Clay, Nassau, Putnam & St. Johns), and would like a literacy program at your preschool, contact Joan Whitson at 904-342-2267. 

The Early Learning Coalition is the leading voice in six counties for child care. ELC works with many other local agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. Their mission is achieved by leading projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and how we assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org. Sponsorship by the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and the state of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

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Sponsored by the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning.


ACF and CDC Work with States to Prioritize School Staff and Child Care Workers for COVID-19 Vaccine

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The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help teachers, school staff, and child care workers find where to access the COVID-19 vaccine through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.

More information and resources from CDC are available at their website for COVID-19 vaccines for teachers, school staff, and child care workers.

Spread the word!

 

The Early Learning Coalition is the leading voice in six counties for child care. ELC works with many other local agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. Their mission is achieved by leading projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and how we assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org.

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

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

Early Learning Parents’ Pages for March 2021

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Check out the following resources for parents from the Office of Early Learning for the month of March!

Click to Access Early Learning Parents’ Pages for March 2021

 

The Early Learning Coalition is the leading voice in six counties for child care. ELC works with many other local agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. Their mission is achieved by leading projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and how we assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org.

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

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

Checklist of 16 Early Signs of Autism

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Check out the following Checklist of 16 Early Signs of Autism.

Click here to access the document

 

The Early Learning Coalition is the leading voice in six counties for child care. ELC works with many other local agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. Their mission is achieved by leading projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and how we assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org.

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

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

Early Learning Parents’ Pages for January 2021

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Check out the following resources for parents from the Office of Early Learning for the month of January!

Click to Access Early Learning Parents’ Pages for January 2021

 

The Early Learning Coalition is the leading voice in six counties for child care. ELC works with many other local agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. Their mission is achieved by leading projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and how we assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org.

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

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida