The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

School Readiness

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

Preliminary qualifications for assistance:

  • Alachua County resident
  • Applying for children ages birth-13
  • Working or participating in an educational or training activity at least 20 hours a week
  • Total household income must not exceed 150% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) or 85% of State Median Income (SMI), whichever is less.

School Readiness Eligibility Priorities

During the 2013 session, the Florida Legislature passed early learning legislation requiring coalitions to use the following eligibility priority criteria for families applying for school readiness services.

  • Children younger than age 13 whose parents receive temporary cash assistance and are subject to federal work requirements
  • At-risk children younger than age 9
  • Economically disadvantaged children until eligible to enter kindergarten. Their older siblings up to the age they are eligible to enter 6th grade may also be served
  • Children from birth to kindergarten whose parents are transitioning from the temporary cash assistance work program to employment
  • At-risk children who are at least age 9 but younger than 13. Those with siblings in priority groups 1-3 are higher priority than other children ages 9-13 in this priority group.
  • Economically disadvantaged children younger than 13. Priority in this category is given to children who have a younger sibling in the School Readiness Program under priority 3.
  • Children younger than 13 whose parents are transitioning from the temporary cash assistance work program to employment.
  • Children who have special needs and current individual educational plans from age 3 until they are eligible to enter kindergarten.
  • Children concurrently enrolled in the federal Head Start Program and VPK, regardless of priorities 1-4.