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 Size23456
150% of FPL 29,58037,29045,00052,71060,420
Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County


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 100.

Find A Provider

ELC Alachua | School Readiness


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. 108. 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

CCR&R Fact Sheet Spanish

CCR&R Spanish Fact Sheet
ADA VPK Fact Sheet_ADA

VPK Spanish Fact Sheet

School Readiness Fact Sheet
School Readiness Spanish Fact Sheet

VPK SIS Fact Sheet Spanish

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
Heathy Start
Healthy Families
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
Florida Dept. of Education

OEL - Parents' Page

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 Sarah White, Child Development and Inclusion Coordinator at swhite@elcalachua.org.

Partner Resources

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

For Provider Services

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


To be used when determining what eligibility forms are need in the list below.

Eligibility Verification Checklist for New Families

Eligibility Checklist for Recertifications

Reporting Changes Checklist


Anti-Fraud Acknowledgement Statement
Authorization to Release Information
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
Temporary Suspension Request

Verification of Address Form

Verification of Employment

Loss of Employment

Work Number Authorization Request

Self Employment Packet


“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

Access Special Services


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. We are 1 of 30 non-profit organizations across Florida that serve as a resource for families and providers regarding the School Readiness (SR) and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) Programs.


The Division of Early Learning (DEL) is responsible for creating the rules, forms, and databases for the SR and VPK Programs. They partner with all 30 Early Learning Coalitions for implementation. You can find more information on their website (https://www.fldoe.org/schools/early-learning/).


In short, 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 complete the following prerequisites before you start the contracting process with ELCAC:

• Obtain a license certificate or license-exemption letter from the Department of Children & Families (DCF). You can find more information on their website (https://www.myflfamilies.com/services/licensing/child-care-licensure). It has many helpful resources for new providers such as operational requirements, budget planning, teacher training, etc. If you are deemed license-exempt, you must also request an SR inspection from your DCF licensing counselor to be eligible to contract with ELCAC.

Obtain a commercial general liability insurance policy for your childcare business from an insurance carrier of your choice. You must have our organization listed as both a certificate holder and additionally insured to be eligible to contract with ELCAC.

Purchase and train your staff on a state-approved curriculum or curricula for all preschool ages you would accept to serve (https://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/20626/urlt/22ApprovCurrList.pdf). If you only serve school age children, this does not apply to you.

Enroll in the E-Verify government database system to confirm eligibility for new hires to work in the United States (https://www.e-verify.gov/). You will be provided with an E-Verify Affidavit to complete during the contracting process.


Once all prerequisites are complete, you can begin the SR contracting process with ELCAC which is entirely online through the statewide Provider Portal (https://providerservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/Login). This website was deployed by DEL in 2017 to streamline the exchange and verification of required forms and supporting documents. It involves 3 phases in the following order:

Register for an account. You will need your taxpayer ID and DCF license or license-exemption number to begin the registration. It will then require basic business information regarding the ownership, facility name, physical address, and email address.

Create a profile. The profile is separated by category into 10 tabs. You will enter the director’s name, contact information, ages served, additional services offered, curriculum, fees and discounts, hours of operation, capacity, private pay rates, planned holiday closures, and various supporting documents. This is the longest phase in the process of becoming a contracted provider. It is pertinent that the profile information is complete and accurate because it feeds into the SR Contract, and it is used in provider listings for inquiring families.

Sign an SR Contract. It is recommended to read the SR Contract before you decide to move forward as it outlines the responsibilities of both parties during and after contracting. You can find a PDF version of the SR Contract to read, also known as Form DEL-SR 20, by clicking the following link: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-15178.


Each phase of the SR contracting process comes with its own instructional packet created and distributed by the Provider Contracts Coordinator, Brandi Thomas. To request the first instructional packet or to ask questions about the information on this page, please email bthomas@elcalachua.org.


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


Links & Additional Resources:

DEL https://www.fldoe.org/schools/early-learning/

DCF https://www.myflfamilies.com/services/licensing/child-care-licensure

ELCAC Provider Contracts Coordinator bthomas@elcalachua.org

SR 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 Sherry McMullen-Balchun (sbalchun@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

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, Sarah White (swhite@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
Child development
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 Sarah White (swhite@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

All families receiving Child Care Resource and Referral, School Readiness (SR) or Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) services will be contacted to complete a voluntary survey to gage your customer service experience with our office. All responses are anonymous and confidential and will not affect your services. In addition, all contracted SR and VPK providers will be contacted to complete a voluntary confidential survey.
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