Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County
School Readiness

School Readiness Services provide financial assistance to eligible families to offset the expense of childcare by allowing for a reduced parent co-payment.

Preliminary Qualifications:

  • Must be an Alachua County resident.
  • Applying for children ages birth-13.
  • All household adults must be working or participating in an educational/training activity at least 20 hours a week.
  • Total household income must not exceed 150% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL). See the chart below for the income guidelines.

Chart as follows:

Household Size12345
150% of FPL 19,32026,13032,94039,75046,560
Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

AS A PARENT, I WANT TO:

Enroll or Re-enroll My Child

ELC Alachua | School Readiness

Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

If you feel that you qualify for the subsidized childcare services, complete one application per family at the secured state website: https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com/.

Please watch this video for instructions on how to navigate the Parent Portal and submit an application.

You may apply from any Internet-accessible computer. For your convenience, ELCAC has computers at our office that you may use if you do not have access elsewhere.

Once you apply, what’s next?

  1. Your application will be reviewed, and you will be contacted by an eligibility staff member by email. If you are potentially eligible, you will be placed on a Wait List until funding becomes available.
  2. Once funding for School Readiness becomes available, you will receive further guidance about the enrollment process by email.

Please report any changes in your household status, including contact information, by calling us at (352) 375-4110 ext 157.

Find A Provider

ELC Alachua | School Readiness

CHILD CARE RESOURCE AND REFERRAL (CCR&R)

For Help Finding Quality Early Learning Programs:

One of the most important and difficult decisions a family has to make is choosing an early learning program for their children. The environment should be safe and match the family’s values about learning and parenting. If you need help finding an early education program for your child, complete the Provider Request Form below. The Provider Request Form can either be emailed to eligibility@elcalachua.org or it can be brought to the ELC office for processing. For more help, download the Family Guide and Quality Checklist, available in both English and Spanish. Click here for information about Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R).

For immediate assistance in finding resources, contact ELCAC’s Child Care Resource & Referral staff at
(352) 375-4110, Ext. 102. CCR&R is available 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday, with the exception of legal holidays.

Helpful Documents

Provider Request Form
Family Guide (English)
Family Guide (Spanish)
Quality Checklist Centers (English)
Quality Checklist FCCH (English)
Quality Checklist (Spanish)
CCRR Fact Sheet_ADA
School Readiness Fact Sheet_
ADA VPK Fact Sheet_ADA

Helpful Links

Child Care Aware of America
Florida Office of Early Learning
Department of Children and Families
Partnership for Strong Families
Career Source NCF
CDS Family & Behavioral Health Services
Community Action Agency
Gainesville Housing Authority
WIC
Heathy Start
Healthy Families
Vroom
DCF Licensing
Strengthening Families Approach and Protective Factors Framework
Youth Thrive Approach and Protective Factors Framework
Trauma-Informed Care
Florida KidCare
Abuse Registry – 800-96-ABUSE
Local Inclusion Resources
http://fdlrssprings.org/
Florida Dept. of Education

OEL - Parents' Page

Family Engagement Resource

What is Vroom?
Click here to find out more about how you can turn shared moments with children into brain building moments.

Whether it’s mealtime, bath time, or anytime in between, there are always ways to nurture our children’s growing minds.


Inclusion – Warm Line

CCR&R also helps you find and refers you to the resources needed for help with your children regarding vision and hearing screenings and special needs. For immediate assistance with special needs, contact ELCAC’s Inclusion/WarmLine at (352) 375-4087 or email Rachel Eubanks, Director of Programs at reubanks@elcalachua.org.

Partner Resources

Strengthening Families Approach and Protective Factors Framework
Youth Thrive Approach and Protective Factors Framework
Trauma-Informed Care

For Provider Services

Contact Rachel Eubanks @ 352-375-4110 ext. 123.

Florida Relay Services

Florida Relay is the communication link for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or speech impaired. Through the Florida Relay, people who use specialized equipment can communicate with people who use standard phone equipment.

1 (800) 955-8770 (Voice)
1 (877) 955-8260 (VCO-Direct)
1 (877) 955-8773 (Spanish)
1 (800) 955-8771 (TTY)
1 (800) 955-1339 (ASCII)
1 (800) 955-5334 (STS)
1 (877) 955-8707 (Creole)

Access Needed Documents

The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

IMPORTANT CHECKLIST

To be used when determining what eligibility forms are need in the list below.
Eligibility Verification Checklist
Reporting Changes Checklist

ELIGIBILITY FORMS

Anti-Fraud Acknowledgement Statement
Authorization to Release Information
Certification of Civil Status (Martial Separation)
Certification of Income for Self-Employment
Cross County Transfer Request
Declaration of Household Members
Enrollment Schedule Change Request
Medical or Maternity Leave Form
Physician’s Disability – Employment Exemption Statement
Request to Withdraw or Transfer

Strengthening Families – Request for Other Information
Subsidized Child care Satisfaction Survey
Temporary Suspension Request

Verification of Address Form

Verification-of-Employment-and-Loss-of-Income
Work Number Authorization Request

STRENGTH-BASED APPROACH TO FAMILY SERVICES

“We often think that admitting struggle is a sign of weakness, but we all struggle sometimes. We all get overwhelmed sometimes. We need help sometimes. Acknowledging this is not a sign of weakness, but struggling alone is a choice to grow weak.”

– Lori Deschene

The Strengthening Families Approach supports families by helping you maintain stability, be calm and continue to nurture your family despite difficult or challenging circumstances.

It focuses on building and enhancing five protective factors that foster optimal child development. Those factors are (1) parental resilience, (2) social connections, (3) knowledge of parenting and child development, (4) concrete support in times of need and (5) social-emotional competence of children. This framework will be implemented in our interviewing process at both new and redeterminations to further guide our interactions with the families we serve. It is our hope, that with these resources, you can continue building resilience and develop skills, characteristics, knowledge and relationships that can contribute to both short and long term positive outcomes.

Best Practices

Infant Best Teaching Practices
Early Literacy for Young Children

Strengthening Families Articles

October 2020 Strengthening Families Article

WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? WANT YOUR VOICE TO BE HEARD? JOIN P.A.C!

The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County has great news! We will be seeking a few good women and men to serve on our new Parent Advocacy Committee, better known as P.A.C. The committee is designed for individuals to be a part of a group that provides ideas and suggestions regarding changes to our office and play spot. Through your involvement you will learn information that may help parents work more effectively with our Agency. Meet and build positive relationships with other parents/caregivers/foster parents who share the same goals. Be educated on changes to our Eligibility process and stay current on changes with the Family Portal.

The committee will consist of roughly 8 individuals. If you’ve expressed interest and were not chosen to serve on the Committee, don’t fret, there will be opportunities in the future to contribute. Click this link for an official flyer and P.A.C application. Once completed feel free to drop your application off during normal business hours.

Access Special Services

ELC Alachua | School Readiness

Developmental screening using an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is required by Florida statute for all children ages birth through 5 and not yet in kindergarten receiving School Readiness services. It is completed by the child care provider at initial enrollment and in the month of the child’s birthday each year thereafter. Your child care provider should offer you access to the screening results as they are obtained.

If you have concerns about your child or are concerned about the results of an ASQ, you can access Inclusion/Special Needs Services, known as the Warm Line, which are available to support any early care and education provider requesting information relating to disability and special health care needs of children.

Technical assistance includes

  • Positive behavioral support
  • Curriculum
  • Strategies
  • Child development
  • Health
  • Environmental adaptations
  • Laws and regulations (e.g., The Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Comprehensive developmental screening program
  • Community advocacy and collaboration
Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County
Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

In Alachua County, call the Warm Line at (352) 375-4087 or email Rachel Eubanks, Director of Programs, at reubanks@elcalachua.org.

The Florida Office of Early Learning Warm Line information is available at http://www.floridaearlylearning.com/providers/provider_resources/inclusion_warm_line_network.aspx

AS A PROVIDER , I WANT TO:

Contract with ELCAC

Contract with ELCAC for the SR Program

 

Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

 

The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County (ELCAC) would like to welcome all prospective childcare providers to this community of hardworking people dedicated to early childhood education. ELCAC serves as a resource for families and providers regarding the School Readiness (SR) and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) Programs.

 

The SR Program offers financial assistance to low-income families for childcare services based on individual need. It prepares children for school through academic activities while also supporting free-play and social-emotional development.

 

If you are interested in offering the SR program at your childcare business, you must first request and receive a license or license exemption letter from the Department of Child and Families (DCF): https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/child-care-licensure.shtml. Once you’re registered through DCF, you may start the contracting process with ELCAC.

 

The contracting process is now entirely online through the statewide Provider Portal. This website was deployed by the Division of Early Learning (DEL) in 2017 to streamline the exchange and verification of required forms and supporting documents. It has gone through many data fixes and feature releases throughout its first few years. We appreciate your patience and understanding as it continues to be developed. Furthermore, please be aware that you are welcome to use the shared resources (internet, computers, scanners, printers, etc.) in our main lobby during normal business hours.

 

To start the contracting process with ELCAC, create an account in the Provider Portal by clicking the blue “here” on the righthand side of the log-in page: https://providerservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/Login. The account must be created by an individual authorized as a contract representative for your childcare business such as the owner or director. After you have successfully registered for an account, email the ELCAC Provider Contracts Coordinator, Brandi Thomas (bthomas@elcalachua.org), to request activation. Please keep in mind that each step in the contracting process requires approval before the next step is available so don’t be discouraged if you can’t move forward right away.

 

Once your account is activated by ELCAC, Brandi Thomas (bthomas@elcalachua.org) will email you a locally created instructional packet to help you create a profile in the Provider Portal. Profiles contain both Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) and contract information. The CCR&R data will be shared with the governor’s office, legislature, state officials, agencies, and families seeking childcare. It’s a wonderful opportunity to market your program to a wide range of families at no cost! The contract data will be auto-populated into fixed fields of the SR Contract later in the contracting process. For these reasons, it is imperative that your profile is entirely accurate.

 

All status changes within the Provider Portal trigger an automatic email notification from DONOTREPLY@oel.myflorida.com. Profiles are often rejected multiple times before approval due to inconsistent or missing information. If your profile is rejected, you will find a list of corrections needed written by ELCAC in the “Additional Comments” section at the bottom of the email from DONOTREPLY@oel.myflorida.com. It is recommended that you check your email inbox daily as email is ELCAC’s main form of communication.

 

After your profile is changed to an “Active” status by ELCAC, Brandi Thomas will email you another locally created instructional packet to help you complete an SR Contract. The SR Contract will consist of auto-populated business information, FL Rule/Statute dictating the responsibilities of each party, and some additional voluntary options. The contracting process is complete when your SR Contract is set to a “Certified” status by ELCAC. Then, you will be considered an approved SR provider for Alachua County!

 

If you have questions regarding SR provider eligibility or the contracting process, please email Brandi Thomas (bthomas@elcalachua.org). If you would like a general orientation, please email the ELCAC Director of Programs, Rachel Eubanks (reubanks@elcalachua.org). You can also browse DEL's website for more details about the SR Program: http://www.floridaearlylearning.com/school-readiness/school-readiness-providers.

 

Thank you for your interest and efforts towards serving the children of Alachua County!

 

Additional Resources:

Profile Supporting Documents

SR Maximum Reimbursement Rates

 

Enhance My Curriculum

Providers contracted to offer School Readiness (SR) services for children ages birth through 5 must use a research-based curriculum that is approved by the Division of Early Learning (DEL) for compliance with the Florida Early Learning and Development Standards: http://flbt5.floridaearlylearning.com/. A list of DEL-approved curricula can be found in the like-named tab of your Provider Portal profile.

A well-designed and implemented curriculum is integral to an effective early learning program. Our goal is to partner with owners, directors, and teachers to continually improve curriculum practices for the benefit of the young children in our community. For more information and assistance, email the ELCAC Director of Programs, Rachel Eubanks (reubanks@elcalachua.org).

Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

Visit the DCF's website for more information about obtaining or renewing credentials and to register for courses: https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/training.shtml.

T.E.A.C.H. provides scholarship assistance for early childhood educators seeking degrees or credentials (including renewals) in the field of Early Childhood Education. For more information about T.E.A.C.H, contact the FL Children’s Forum: www.fcforum.org.

For information about early childhood education programs at Santa Fe College, visit http://www.sfcollege.edu/education/. 

For information about Early Learning Florida visit www.earlylearningflorida.com.

 

Request Assistance for a Child with Special Needs

Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County
Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

Providers are required to complete an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) when a child is first enrolled and every year thereafter in the month of the child’s birthday. For more information and assistance, email the ELCAC Programs Support Specialist, Lyn Brown (lbrown@elcalachua.org).

Inclusion/Special Needs Services, also known as the "Warm Line," are available to support any early care and education provider requesting information relating to disability and special health care needs of children.

Technical assistance includes

  • Positive behavioral support
  • Curriculum
  • Strategies
  • Child development
  • Health
  • Environmental adaptations
  • Laws and regulations (e.g., The Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Comprehensive developmental screening program
  • Community advocacy and collaboration

You may call the Alachua County Warm Line at (352) 375-4087 or email the ELCAC Director of Programs, Rachel Eubanks (reubanks@elcalachua.org).

The Division of Early Learning (DEL) Warm Line information is available at http://www.floridaearlylearning.com/providers/provider_resources/inclusion_warm_line_network.aspx.

Understand the Rilya Wilson Act

Rilya Wilson Act

A child designated under the Rilya Wilson Act is defined as any child, age birth to kindergarten, receiving school readiness services as a result of an open abuse and neglect case.

Click here for more details on the Florida Statute.

The provider caring for a child in the Protective Services Program must notify the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or community-based care agency within 24 hours of any unexcused absence or 7 consecutive days of excused absences using the Report an Absent Child form. Once completed and submitted, the form should be sent to pamela.mercado@pfsf.org and notifications@elcalachua.org.

Click here to view the Provider Reimbursement Handbook.

Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County
Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

Contract with ELCAC

Contract with ELCAC for the SR Program

 

Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

 

The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County (ELCAC) would like to welcome all prospective childcare providers to this community of hardworking people dedicated to early childhood education. ELCAC serves as a resource for families and providers regarding the School Readiness (SR) and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) Programs.

 

The SR Program offers financial assistance to low-income families for childcare services based on individual need. It prepares children for school through academic activities while also supporting free-play and social-emotional development.

 

If you are interested in offering the SR program at your childcare business, you must first request and receive a license or license exemption letter from the Department of Child and Families (DCF): https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/child-care-licensure.shtml. Once you’re registered through DCF, you may start the contracting process with ELCAC.

 

The contracting process is now entirely online through the statewide Provider Portal. This website was deployed by the Division of Early Learning (DEL) in 2017 to streamline the exchange and verification of required forms and supporting documents. It has gone through many data fixes and feature releases throughout its first few years. We appreciate your patience and understanding as it continues to be developed. Furthermore, please be aware that you are welcome to use the shared resources (internet, computers, scanners, printers, etc.) in our main lobby during normal business hours.

 

To start the contracting process with ELCAC, create an account in the Provider Portal by clicking the blue “here” on the righthand side of the log-in page: https://providerservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/Login. The account must be created by an individual authorized as a contract representative for your childcare business such as the owner or director. After you have successfully registered for an account, email the ELCAC Provider Contracts Coordinator, Brandi Thomas (bthomas@elcalachua.org), to request activation. Please keep in mind that each step in the contracting process requires approval before the next step is available so don’t be discouraged if you can’t move forward right away.

 

Once your account is activated by ELCAC, Brandi Thomas (bthomas@elcalachua.org) will email you a locally created instructional packet to help you create a profile in the Provider Portal. Profiles contain both Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) and contract information. The CCR&R data will be shared with the governor’s office, legislature, state officials, agencies, and families seeking childcare. It’s a wonderful opportunity to market your program to a wide range of families at no cost! The contract data will be auto-populated into fixed fields of the SR Contract later in the contracting process. For these reasons, it is imperative that your profile is entirely accurate.

 

All status changes within the Provider Portal trigger an automatic email notification from DONOTREPLY@oel.myflorida.com. Profiles are often rejected multiple times before approval due to inconsistent or missing information. If your profile is rejected, you will find a list of corrections needed written by ELCAC in the “Additional Comments” section at the bottom of the email from DONOTREPLY@oel.myflorida.com. It is recommended that you check your email inbox daily as email is ELCAC’s main form of communication.

 

After your profile is changed to an “Active” status by ELCAC, Brandi Thomas will email you another locally created instructional packet to help you complete an SR Contract. The SR Contract will consist of auto-populated business information, FL Rule/Statute dictating the responsibilities of each party, and some additional voluntary options. The contracting process is complete when your SR Contract is set to a “Certified” status by ELCAC. Then, you will be considered an approved SR provider for Alachua County!

 

If you have questions regarding SR provider eligibility or the contracting process, please email Brandi Thomas (bthomas@elcalachua.org). If you would like a general orientation, please email the ELCAC Director of Programs, Rachel Eubanks (reubanks@elcalachua.org). You can also browse DEL's website for more details about the SR Program: http://www.floridaearlylearning.com/school-readiness/school-readiness-providers.

 

Thank you for your interest and efforts towards serving the children of Alachua County!

 

Additional Resources:

Profile Supporting Documents

SR Maximum Reimbursement Rates

 

Enhance My Curriculum

Providers contracted to offer School Readiness (SR) services for children ages birth through 5 must use a research-based curriculum that is approved by the Division of Early Learning (DEL) for compliance with the Florida Early Learning and Development Standards: http://flbt5.floridaearlylearning.com/. A list of DEL-approved curricula can be found in the like-named tab of your Provider Portal profile.

A well-designed and implemented curriculum is integral to an effective early learning program. Our goal is to partner with owners, directors, and teachers to continually improve curriculum practices for the benefit of the young children in our community. For more information and assistance, email the ELCAC Director of Programs, Rachel Eubanks (reubanks@elcalachua.org).

Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

Visit the DCF's website for more information about obtaining or renewing credentials and to register for courses: https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/training.shtml.

T.E.A.C.H. provides scholarship assistance for early childhood educators seeking degrees or credentials (including renewals) in the field of Early Childhood Education. For more information about T.E.A.C.H, contact the FL Children’s Forum: www.fcforum.org.

For information about early childhood education programs at Santa Fe College, visit http://www.sfcollege.edu/education/. 

For information about Early Learning Florida visit www.earlylearningflorida.com.

 

Request Assistance for a Child with Special Needs

Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County
Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

Providers are required to complete an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) when a child is first enrolled and every year thereafter in the month of the child’s birthday. For more information and assistance, email the ELCAC Programs Support Specialist, Lyn Brown (lbrown@elcalachua.org).

Inclusion/Special Needs Services, also known as the "Warm Line," are available to support any early care and education provider requesting information relating to disability and special health care needs of children.

Technical assistance includes

  • Positive behavioral support
  • Curriculum
  • Strategies
  • Child development
  • Health
  • Environmental adaptations
  • Laws and regulations (e.g., The Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Comprehensive developmental screening program
  • Community advocacy and collaboration

You may call the Alachua County Warm Line at (352) 375-4087 or email the ELCAC Director of Programs, Rachel Eubanks (reubanks@elcalachua.org).

The Division of Early Learning (DEL) Warm Line information is available at http://www.floridaearlylearning.com/providers/provider_resources/inclusion_warm_line_network.aspx.

Understand the Rilya Wilson Act

Rilya Wilson Act

A child designated under the Rilya Wilson Act is defined as any child, age birth to kindergarten, receiving school readiness services as a result of an open abuse and neglect case.

Click here for more details on the Florida Statute.

The provider caring for a child in the Protective Services Program must notify the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or community-based care agency within 24 hours of any unexcused absence or 7 consecutive days of excused absences using the Report an Absent Child form. Once completed and submitted, the form should be sent to pamela.mercado@pfsf.org and notifications@elcalachua.org.

Click here to view the Provider Reimbursement Handbook.

Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County
Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County