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Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Updates

We will continue to serve families and providers via email, telephone, and online.

The Department of Education, the Office of Early Learning, and early learning coalitions are committed to providing up-to-date information and guidance to our early learning community to address concerns of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of our School Readiness (SR) and Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) students, families, providers and staff is of utmost importance. This information will be updated as needed while our communities mitigate the effects of coronavirus COVID-19.

The below precautions and changes will be taken throughout the next 30 days or until further notice, as recommended by the above entities.

To contact staff with questions or concerns, please call (727) 548-1439 or email info@elcpinellas.org.

 

For Families

  • Can I make an appointment with the ELC?

Yes. Our offices and lobbies are closed to the public, but we continue to serve families virtually. Parents and Guardians can call 727-400-4411 to schedule a phone/online interview. *Please confirm your selected childcare site is open and accepting children before scheduling an appointment. We will update a list of closed providers daily – closed providers can be found here.

  • Should I keep my child home?

Ultimately, parents have to make the decision that is best for their child(ren). At minimum, children should be kept home if:

        • Your child or someone in your home exhibit any symptoms such as a fever, cough, respiratory illness, or shortness of breath, immediately self-isolate for 14 days.
        • Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on foreign travel, to any country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
        • Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

 

  • If my provider is closed, do I still have to pay my parent fee?

All SR parent fees will be waived, effective no later than April 1. (Effective date TBD by OEL). We are still waiting on the Office of Early Learning to announce the effective date of this waiver. You may be responsible for a payment differential if you normally pay this.

  • My provider is closed and I still need care. Can I transfer my child to another center?

Yes. We recognize parents may need alternative care arrangements. Keep in mind, if you choose to transfer, you may lose your spot at your original provider.  Parent and guardians can obtain a transfer form from our website http://elcpinellas.net/sr-downloads/. Please fax in your transfer form to 727-400-4486. Within 2 business days, you must log into your family portal account https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/Login.  It is your responsibility to sign the payment certificate in order to complete the process and ensure proper payments to the new provider.

  • How I get a list of childcare providers that are still open?

Contact CCR&R

  • If my child is absent, will my provider still be paid?

Yes. Attendance rules for School Readiness and VPK programs have been temporarily waived to give more flexibility for families. Providers will be paid for all active enrollments regardless of attendance or closures.

  • If my provider is closed or my child is absent, do I still have to pay my parent fee?

All SR parent fees will be waived, effective no later than April 1. (Effective date TBD by OEL). We are still waiting on the Office of Early Learning to announce the effective date of this waiver. You may be responsible for a payment differential if you normally pay this.

 

For Providers


Did You Miss 3/20’s Webinar with CEO Lindsay Carson?
Please view the PDF of the presentation here

To view the webinar, please click here


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  • Should I close my program?

This is an independent business decision. Any closures currently are voluntary. You would be notified by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) or Pinellas County License Board (PCLB) in the event closures were mandated. In the meantime, please keep in mind that many families are still depending on childcare in order to work. Especially consider your families who work in health care, first responders, etc.

  • Will I still be paid if we close?
    1. Yes. You will be paid for active enrollments in SR and VPK unless a child transfers to a different provider. As long as they child remains enrolled at your site, you will be paid.
    2. The Temporary Closure Rules are being waived to allow for longer closures
    3. Parents do not need to sign in/out if you are closed
    4. All SR parent fees will be waived, effective no later than April 1. (Effective date TBD by OEL).

 

  • Will I still be paid if a child has an excessive number of absences?
    1. Yes. You will be paid for active enrollments in SR and VPK regardless of attendance.
    2. The absence rules for SR and VPK have been temporarily waived. That means you don’t have to worry about the 10 days for SR and 20% for VPK.
    3. You will not be required to collect documentation for absences.
    4. If children are absent, you do not need sign-in/out
    5. All SR parent fees will be waived, effective no later than April 1. (Effective date TBD by OEL).
  • What do I mark on the attendance?

We do not have an answer from the Office of Early Learning at this time. We will update this page and send an email to providers once that information is released to us.

  • Do I need an RJOA for absences beyond 3 days?

No, you do not.

  • Can I implement travel restrictions?

This is an individual business decision. Pinellas County Schools has adopted the following protocol:

-Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on foreign travel, to any country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

-Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

  • How can I limit exposure at my site?
    1. Make sure all parents and families know that they should remain home if they are ill. It is flu season, so every fever is not a sign of COVID-19. If someone reports they “have been tested positive for coronavirus,” please verify. There are many strains of coronavirus that are equivalent to a common cold. Only a test result that shows a positive result for COVID-19 is associated with the strain you are hearing about. These results must be verified through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    2.  
    3. Be sure you are stressing the importance of handwashing. Everyone that comes through your doors should be washing their hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available. Encourage coughing and sneezing into the crook of the elbow, or a tissue that can be discarded.
    4. Clean and sanitize door knobs, computer keyboards, touch screens, tabletops, toys and other surfaces that are touched often. Clean all eating surfaces before and after use. Ensure play space is cleaned thoroughly upon closing every night in preparation for the next day of business.
    5. Screen children up on arrival for fevers.

 

  • Can we close to students but require our teachers and staff to work?

That is an individual business decision. Several providers have indicated that they are closing to students but staff will be reporting to work. They are planning to do extensive cleaning & sanitizing, lesson planning and professional development.

 

  • Will ELC staff be doing site visits for CLASS assessments, coaching and supportive interventions?

Not at this time. In order to limit exposure to our providers, children and staff, we have suspended all site visits. However, we continue to be available for online and telephone consultation. We will do our best to assist in any way we can.

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