ELCFV

Provider Update 4/7

Update from ELCFV

  • All ELCFV staff are telecommuting – we are working and ready to help you, please reach out to us by email, phone, or chat on our website.
  • We are working hard on reimbursement. Christy West is taking the lead. If you have questions, please reach out to her. Her email address is: cwest@elcfv.org
  • Thank you to those who completed the survey from last week. Our staff are reaching out now for more details and identify specific ways we can help.
  • Governor DeSantis’ Stay at Home Executive Order limited movement starting on 4/2/20 . Remember, childcare programs offering care for essential workers is considered an essential service. We need your help in encouraging parents who are not essential workers to stay at home and keep their children at home. If you have questions, please feel free to email me or call me. I am happy to talk with you or your families.
  • The Office of Early Learning is working through the final pieces of temporary funding for 1st responders and healthcare workers. We will be reaching out to identify capacity and willingness to accept children from these families. More to come!

Resources

  • Website updates for providers – some are listed below and then more are here.
  • Website updates for families – some are listed below and more are listed here
  • For resources to keep children active and learning, like and follow us on Facebook and share from your program’s page!
  • CARES Act resources –

FREE Ongoing instruction through Online Preschool

  • Atlanta Speech School Online Preschool from the Cox Campus The mission of this organization is to give ALL children a voice.  Don’t let the name fool you!  This totally free, self-paced, daily program is great for ALL children.  Learn more by watching a two minute video and register COX CAMPUS ONLINE PRESCHOOL
  • ABC Mouse is an online program with aStep-by-Step Learning Path that presents the full ABCmouse.com curriculum in a carefully designed program… As your child completes each lesson, he or she …motivated to continue learning by ABCmouse.com’s Tickets and Rewards System” Childcare programs can register to receive a link that provides free access for their families. Click AGE OF LEARNING  to learn more.

Free Tips and Tricks for you to share with families

  • Vroom provides “science-based tips and tools to inspire families to turn shared, everyday moments into Brain Building Moments®”.  Click to learn more VROOM
  • Lakeshore Learning has created LAKESHORE VIDEOS and free resources like printable activity plans and pages LAKESHORE RESOURCES
  • Conscious Discipline offers five tips and supporting resources to help you manage children’s behavior (and your own) during the COVID emergency at CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE
  • Ready Rosie “…has developed a FREE toolkit to provide (daily) tips through MODELED MOMENT videos…”  READY ROSIE

We continue to be amazed with your resiliency and thankful for all that you are doing for your staff and our families. Please let me know if we can do anything for you.  

Provider Update 4/1

State and Federal Updates:

  • Governor DeSantis issued a STAY AT HOME Executive Order today. (Here is a link to the EO and Miami-Dade EO 07-20). Here is the excerpt that refers to child care providers being an essential services. 

Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 07-20 (PAGE 3 of 5)

  1. Essential retail and commercial business, which may be open are:
    1. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities should operate under the following mandatory conditions:
  1. childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer (inclusive of childcare providers for the group)
  2. children and childcare providers shall not change from one group to another.
  • If no more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix or interact with each other.
  • Paycheck Protection Program – The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package signed into law last week, officially known as the CARES Act, includes nearly $350 billion for a federal small business loan program called the Paycheck Protection Program. If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan may be forgivable; if you keep your staff employed through June 30, 2020. Check to see if you qualify and then contact your bank to see if it is an SBA-approved lender. If your bank is not an SBA-approved lender, contact the SBA to find one. – Learn More

ELCFV Local Updates:

  • Attendance is due this week! Here is a glimpse of the email you will receive an email tomorrow (4/2/20) from Kim Burrows. It will have some additional instructions for March and COVID-19. Christy West and Kim Burrows have done work in the background to make your job easier when submitting your attendance. If you don’t get it, let me know and I’ll forward to you…
    • Your attendance is due by the 3rd business day of each month. Late submission may result in attendance being processed in the next billing period.
    • As we begin to process reimbursement – keep an eye on your email for any rejections of Attendance rosters. You will receive an email with what needs to be corrected, and you will need to resubmit those records, in order to be paid
  • We are here to help! Please complete this survey and we will use it to follow up with you – we want to help you meet your individual needs and are looking for additional information to know where to start.
  • The ELCFV Daytona physical office will close as of Friday, April 3, 2020. Staff are still available by email and if you call and do not talk with someone in person, you can leave a message and we will follow up. If you have trouble getting in touch with someone and feel it’s urgent, please email me at djlebo@elcfv.org or call me at 386.317.3350.
  • We hope to have updates out to you by Friday with online instructional resources available to you for to use with families. Stay tuned!

Thank you for all that you are continuing to do to help our families and stay safe. We will continue to communicate with you and please watch our Facebook and website for regular updates.

 

Provider Update 3/27

We have made it through the week! There has been a lot of change this week and we’ve received some updates from the Office of Early Learning and the Department of Children and Families.

 

What happened this week?

  • Received update from OEL with Short Q&A 
  • Received a request for survey completion: Here is a very short recap and the survey: In our ongoing effort to gather as much information as possible about access to child care during the next few weeks, the Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Care Regulation, would like your feedback. Please click on the link below to access the survey: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5523958/COVID-19-Child-Care-Operations
  • Most child care programs have contacted us with their status of operations here is a quick look:
 

 

What’s happening next week?

  • It’s the end of the month and we will be reaching out to you for attendance information.
  • The Daytona ELCFV Office will remain open for two more weeks. The DeLand and Flagler offices are temporarily closed. The majority of ELCFV staff will be working remotely.
  • Additional information about outreach from ELCFV staff for families and providers including:
    • Training opportunities for preschool teachers
    • Fun activities parents can use with children at home
    • Needed resources for child care programs how to get them

 

 

Thank you for all that you are doing. For those of you who are working, cleaning, taking care of children and your staff. For those of you who have made the hard decision to close temporarily and are worried you’ll never open again and for everyone in the middle. We know how important the work you do is and your giving hearts. Thank you for taking care of our most precious gifts. Hopefully, this weekend, you’ll have a chance to take care of yourselves! 

Provider Update 3/24

As a childcare provider with a contract – you should have received the following emails yesterday and today:  If you did not, please let me know (djlebo@elcfv.org) and I will forward to you.

  • FROM: Office of Early Learning communications@oel.myflorida.com SUBJECT: Support for School Readiness and VPK Providers: COVID-19 DATED: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
  • FROM: Florida Department of Children and Families FLDCF@info.dcf.state.fl.us SUBJECT: Coronavirus Guidelines – March 24, 2020 DATED: Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
  • FROM: ELCFV DJ Lebo SUBJECT: COVID-19 Update for Parents DATED: Monday, March 23, 2020.

We are awaiting specific information from OEL regarding the implementation plan for several things and will pass information along as soon as we receive it. At this point, I know we are waiting on information for the following items:

  • How to submit attendance for March for VPK and School Readiness
  • If and what type of information will be required for extended absences related to COVID-19
  • If and how to change calendars for VPK
  • If any additional work is needed from providers for waiving accountability related to VPK assessment
  • Start date for parent fee waivers – we have recommended that providers stop collecting parent fees with their next regular billing cycle.

PARENT FEES:

We have had lots of questions about the difference between parent fees and differential payments. I wanted to give you a little insight into OEL’s thinking regarding waiving parent fees. It was a two-fold decision.

  1. Help parents who have been hit hard financially by this crisis
  2. Help child care programs – We know that waiting for coalition payment can be troublesome. We also know that in this difficult time, you can depend on coalition payment, when some families may not have the ability to pay you. Many providers have said that their enrollment is down significantly. The coalition paying the parent fee assures the provider you will receive these funds. We believe this is part of a long-term solution to this crisis.

We will only be paying the parent fees, not the differential. Here is an example:

RATES

NORMALLY

 

COVID

Provider Published Rate

$25.00

 

$25.00

ELCFV Reimbursement Rate

$20.00

 

$20.00

Parent Fee

$2.93

 

$0.00

Coalition Pays Provider

$17.07

 

$20.00

Parent Pays Provider

$7.93

 

$5.00

OTHER THINGS WE ARE WORKING ON:

  • We know many of you on the food program are worried about food supplies. We are working with the OEL and state resources to find help. We will pass on anything we learn. In the meantime, I offer this link for your families – 2-1-1 Volusia & Flagler – they have a phone number and website for resources
  • If you have families who have been absent and you haven’t been able to contact them, let us help. We have staff who are willing to reach out and check on them. Please email either Beth Freshour (bfreshour@elcfv.org) or Cindy Adams (cadams@elcfv.org) with the child’s first name and last initial – please remember – NO FULL NAMES IN EMAIL!

Please check out the updated resources webpage.

Please remember – call me or email if you have questions or concerns and thank you for all you continue to do for our children and families.

Parent Update 3/23

To help parents, The Office of Early Learning (OEL) has agreed to:

  • Suspend termination of School Readiness eligibility
  • Extend the timelines for redetermination of SR eligibility
  • Waiving parent copays/fees for all eligible SR families regardless of their income.

To help childcare programs, OEL has agreed to:

  • Pay/reimburse programs for additional child absences when the provider is open and for those that occur during temporary closures.

What this means for you: 

  • Suspend termination of School Readiness eligibility and extend the timelines for redetermination of SR eligibility
    • If you are due to renew and have access to the portal and the ability to upload your documents, please continue the process to renew your care.   If you do not have access, please contact us at childcare@elcfv.org so we can help.
    • If your employment was suspended or has ended please contact us at childcare@elcfv.org and include your first initial and last name and last day of employment.
  • Waiving parent copays/fees for all eligible SR families regardless of their income.
  • Your parent fees will be waived during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Pay/reimburse programs for additional child absences when the provider is open and for those that occur during temporary closures.
  • If your childcare provider is open but you are not sending your child, your childcare provider is being paid as if your child is attending
  • If your childcare provider is open but you are not sending your child and you are paying to hold your spot you will no longer need to do so as they will be paid for the additional absences with the exception of any differential

If you have any questions regarding your childcare OR are in need of any resources please contact us by phone at, 386-323-2400 select Option 2 for Family Services OR Online via our website: www.elcfv.org – just click on “Chat with Us” OR via email at childcare@elcfv.org

Provider Update 3/20

Information the Office of Early Learning reiterated today:

  1. To help child care programs, OEL has agreed to:
    • Pay/reimburse programs for additional child absences when the provider is open and for those that occur during temporary closures.
    • Eliminate all requirements for remaining child screening/assessments or provider program assessments for the 2019-20 program year.
    • Extend timelines for provider improvement plans and reports.
  2. To help parents, OEL has agreed to:
    • Suspend termination of SR eligibility
    • Extend the timelines for redetermination of SR eligibility.
    • Waiving parent copays/fees for all eligible SR families regardless of their income.
  3. OEL strongly encourages providers to adhere to the CDC’s guidance which limits gatherings of students and employees to no more than 10 people in an occupied space. There are questions about age groupings that DCF is working through. OEL appreciates that these are tough decisions for child care operators to make.

Information from ELCFV:

  1. SAD NEWS: Jenny Adams decided to leave ELCFV. Today was her last day. We wish her well and are very sad to see her go. Until we determine next steps, please contact  me, DJ Lebo (djlebo@elcfv.org) or Nancy Walsh (nwalsh@elcfv.org) the Director of Quality and Inclusion with questions or concerns you may have.
  2. ELCFV has had staff telecommuting for over a year and next week will be no exception. Our Daytona and DeLand offices are still open and Flagler will be open by appointment only.

    Please remember – call me or email if you have questions or concerns. I hope you have a restful weekend.

Provider Update, 3/19

Information the Office of Early Learning reiterated today:

  1. OEL WILL pay/reimburse VPK and SR providers for additional absences of active enrollments or temporary closures due to COVID-19. That has been very clear from both the Governor and the Commissioner.
  2. OEL strongly encourages providers to adhere to the CDC’s guidance which limits gatherings of students and employees to no more than 10 people in an occupied space. There are questions about age groupings that DCF is working through. OEL appreciates that these are tough decisions for child care operators to make.

Information from ELCFV:

  1. If your program decides to close, please send an email to either djlebo@elcfv.org or cwest@elcfv.org letting us know (1) program name (2) contact name (3) phone number (4) reason for closure (5) effective date of closure (6) estimated reopen date. Please wait to submit updates to your 19/20 VPK calendars until normal business operations have resumed.
  2. ELCFV has had requests from both hospital systems (Advent and Halifax) as well as the foster care system for possible respite care for children birth to 12 years old. If you plan to remain open and would like to be added to a list of available programs for hospital employees or foster parents, please email me (djlebo@elcfv.org) or Pam Mitchell (pmitchell@elcfv.org).  We are working to compile a list by Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Provider Update, sent 3/18 PM

 NEW WEB PAGE

In an effort to provide regular communication, ELCFV has added a web page on our website specific for COVID-19 https://elcfv.org/covid-19/. It includes prior communications to providers, families and community as well as links to various resources

DOE NEWS UPDATES

http://www.fldoe.org/newsroom/latest-news/florida-department-of-education-announces-additional-guidance-for-the-2019-20-school-year.stml

 

Excerpt below regarding limiting number of children and staff in a single space.

School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten Programs

  • Commissioner Corcoran strongly recommend school readiness and voluntary prekindergarten programs adhere to the CDC’s guidance for higher-risk populations by limiting students and employees to no more than 10 people convening in a single occupied space, therefore breaking students into groups as necessary, maintaining social distancing best practices and proper hygiene. 

UPDATED INFORMATION

Regardless of your personal decision regarding the operation status of your facility, here are some of the financial supports that the Office of Early Learning is working on:

  • Increase allowable absences for enrolled and attending children in the School Readiness & VPK Programs.
  • Consider waiving parent co-pay fees for parents that are not able to work due to forced work closures, layoffs or loss of employment.
  • Provide reimbursement for closure days for contracted School Readiness and/or VPK providers; and
  • Amend eligibility requirement deadlines to prevent loss of services.

In his March 17th press release, the Commissioner of Education stated that all School Readiness and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Programs will receive their full allocation of funding through June 30, 2020 as though there was no disruption in education. The purpose of this continued funding is to ensure that child care providers will be able to financially support their day to day operations including paying teachers and child care staff regardless of the decision to remain open during this health crisis or not.  

GOOD NEWS – PAYMENT TO PROVIDERS

Programs received email notification of payments for February 2020 today which will post to bank accounts on Friday, 3/20/20.

TALKING WITH CHILDREN ABOUT CORONAVIRUS DISEASE

Here is a link for you to use in talking with children. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html

  • Remain calm and reassuring
  • Make yourself available to listen and to talk
  • Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma
  • Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio or online
  • Provide information that is honest and accurate
  • Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs

The next few weeks will challenge us all but, as always, the workforce will be counting on you to do what you do best, educate and care for children!  I trust and feel confident that you will continue to do what is best to serve the community during this time. 

 

Thank you and if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me at 386.317.3350

Parent Update 3/17

In this time of uncertainty and state of emergency, the health and safety of children and families is the priority of the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia (ELCFV). 

Some important facts:

  • Currently each childcare program can make the decision that they think is best in regards to closing.
  • ELCFV is encouraging programs to safely meet the needs of families who depend on childcare in order to work essential functions like healthcare, emergency services and retail, while being socially conscious.
  • You are not required to take your child to childcare for VPK or School Readiness if you do not feel comfortable doing so.
  • You will not lose your childcare benefits or VPK eligibility during this time.
  • Your current childcare program is not required to save your enrollment spot, please discuss your preferences with them.

We are available to answer any questions you may have. There are a variety of ways to reach us:

 

  1. In person: if this changes we will update on social media and our website
  2. By phone: 386-323-2400, select option 2 to reach Family Services
  3. By e-mail: childcare@elcfv.org or any e-mail addresses you have for individual staff
  4. By chat: visit our website to chat with us from 9 AM to 4 PM: www.elcfv.org

 

Because this is a unique emergency, rules that have guided decision making in the past will not result in the best outcomes now.  ELCFV encourages individual childcare providers and parents to decide what is best for them and their families.

Childcare programs are often small businesses that must operate in ways that make sense financially.  ELCFV is working in collaboration with the Office of Early Learning, Department of Education, and Department of Children and Families to provide guidance to minimize the financial impact of this state of emergency. We believe relief is coming and hope to see further guidance within the next couple of days, including an Executive Order from the Governor.

We will continue to monitor recommendations by the CDC and the governor.

Provider Update 3/16

In this time of uncertainty and state of emergency, the health and safety of children and families is the priority of the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia (ELCFV).  Current conditions raise many concerns including:

  • Staffing at your programs
  • Child attendance and impact on eligibility for SR or VPK
  • Financial impact of closure/reduced attendance
  • Availability of supplies to maintain a safe and healthy childcare environment

ELCFV is committed to helping childcare providers make the best decisions they can about their programs. To help with that, we’ve included a lot of information and encourage you to please carefully read the following message in its entirety.

  1. Because this is a unique emergency, rules that have guided decision making in the past will not result in the best outcomes now.  ELCFV encourages individual childcare providers to decide what is best for them, their staff and families regarding operation of their programs. In making that decision, please consider your ability to:
  • Staff your program appropriately while allowing staff who are too sick to work, to stay home
  • Meet the needs of families depending on childcare in order to work in essential functions like healthcare, emergency services and retail
  • Continue operation even if district schools close
  • Maintain a safe and healthy childcare environment
  • Be socially conscious and help stop the spread of this virus
  1. Childcare programs are often small businesses that must operate in ways that make sense financially.  ELCFV is working in collaboration with the Office of Early Learning, Department of Education, and Department of Children and Families to provide guidance to minimize the financial impact of this state of emergency. We believe relief is coming and hope to see further guidance within the next couple of days, including an Executive Order from the Governor.

Actions being considered include:

  • Reimbursing both School Readiness and VPK providers for child absences beyond what rule currently allows
  • Extending due dates for things required of providers like child screenings and assessments, CLASS assessments, improvement plans or plans for meeting other existing requirements
  • Extending due dates for eligibility determinations including those related to child absence

ELCFV will pass along additional information via our website and email messages as it becomes available.

  1. Additionally, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. Childcare businesses are encouraged to take The Business Damage Assessment Survey online at https://floridadisaster.biz/

Results from this survey will be shared with state agencies and local partners. Surveys submitted by small businesses can be used to access the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, made available for COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. For inquiries or assistance with the survey, businesses can contact Emergency Support Function 18 at ESF18@em.myflorida.com

Lastly, it is important that you update ELCFV if you choose to close (send me an email or update the portal). OEL has asked that I update them daily by 3:00 PM of local closures. We appreciate all you are doing to keep children, families and our community safe. Please direct any questions about this message to me, DJ Lebo, at djlebo@elcfv.org

My direct number is 386.323.3350 and I will do my best to answer your questions. Thank you!

Provider Update 3/15

I appreciate everyone’s patience as we sift through all of the Coronavirus information. Unfortunately, as this afternoon, I have nothing new to share with you.

 Typically, when we have a disaster, such as a hurricane, it has been our policy to following the closing of the school districts. However, as we all know, this situation is different. At this point, the ELCFV is not closing, nor are we recommending that childcare programs close this week. Based on our understanding, communication with the Office of Early Learning and our fellow coalitions around the state, we believe that mass closures are not reimbursable based on rule at this time.

 As of day, neither the Department of Children and Families nor the Department of Health has recommended mass closure of childcare programs. I believe these are the entities, along with the Governor, who have the ability to order emergency closures identified in rule that will trigger payments.

 If the Department of Health recommends that your childcare program close based on possible COVID-19 exposure, please alert the coalition immediately. We will work with you individually for payment of School Readiness and VPK contracts.

 We hope to receive further guidance from the Office of Early Learning Monday or Tuesday of this week and we will continue to provide updates.

Provider Update 3/13

Flagler and Volusia County Schools have announced cancellation of school for a week beyond this week’s scheduled spring break. Schools are currently scheduled to resume classes on March 30th. This action is in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

 I know all of you have questions about what our next steps will by because we typically follow school district closures. However, ELCFV is awaiting guidance from the Office of Early Learning regarding recommendations for child care school readiness and VPK closures. We hope to have further information to provide you by Sunday after 4:00 PM. I know this will offer you short notice for parents and apologize for that.

 We know how important the work you do is and that parents depend on you for their children’s care so they are able to work. We hope to find a solution that meets everyone’s needs. Please look for an update from me on Sunday evening. Thank you and have a safe weekend!

DJ Lebo
CEO
Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia