|July 7, 2021|
Dear Early Learning Provider Directors:
Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature authorized two qualified disaster relief payments to child care and early learning instructors affected by COVID in Specific Appropriation #80B of the 2021-22 General Appropriations Act (GAA) (Chapter 2021-036, Laws of Florida). These payments are provided to qualified instructors in recognition of their continuing service and dedication to Florida’s children and families. Section 80B in the GAA provides:
The funds provided in Specific Appropriation 80B are provided to the Office of Early Learning to administer two bonuses to Florida’s child care and early learning instructors totaling a net amount of $1,000 each. Applications for the first bonus shall be available no later than July 1, 2021… Applications for the second bonus shall be available no later than January 1, 2022.
These payments will go to individuals who are employed as a child care or early learning instructor as of July 1, 2021, the date that this section of the GAA became law.
These payments will be provided directly to qualified individuals through the U.S. mail. Your assistance in confirming eligible child care and early learning instructors, along with their mailing addresses, quickly and accurately, is needed in order to ensure these payments are provided to all eligible individuals.
In short, as the director of a private child care/early learning center/family child care home, you will receive an email invitation (from Donotreply_disasterrelief@oel.myflorida.com) to access the online portal to verify the eligibility of your instructors by Friday, August 6, 2021. Child care and early learning instructor must be:
· Employed as of July 1, 2021 at a private child care, early learning center or family child care home;
· Employed at the time you submit the application; and
· Assigned to a classroom, full-time or part-time.
If you do not receive an invite by Wednesday, July 7th, please email email@example.com or call toll-free at 1-833-258-6735.
We understand that you want to recognize all hard-working staff, such as custodians, food service workers, bus drivers, etc., who sacrificed much of their own time and personal expenses to ensure that child care providers remained open to serve Florida’s children and families. While this appropriation is limited to child care/early learning instructors, you are encouraged to use a portion of your Phase V grants and future grants to ensure that these valued staff members receive the compensation and resources they need and deserve.
The Division of Early Learning (formerly the Office of Early Learning) will be hosting webinars beginning Thursday, July 8th, to provide more information. Please register for ONE of the webinars listed below.