Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

PHELC Update: April 13, 2020

Dear Providers,
 
The Office of Early Learning is prioritizing the needs of first responders and health care workers by expanding access to the School Readiness program. Employees in these two fields may now qualify for the School Readiness program, regardless of household income, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
In order to refer an employee for this service, their employer’s Human Resource Department must complete a Child Care Application and Authorization (referral) Form and send it to us at the Coalition. This funding can be utilized at any approved School Readiness provider and your usual reimbursement rates will apply. Children with this funding will appear under the billing group BG1-ESS and care will be authorized up to 3 months at a time.
 
If you currently have a child enrolled in your program and they have a parent who is a first responder or health care worker, please have them reach out to us at coalition@phelc.org for more information on this program.
 
Thank you.
PHELC Staff
 
 

 
 
 
PHELC Update: April 6, 2020
 
Important update for providers,

As you know the Governor of Florida issued Executive Order 20-91 directing everyone to say home for thirty days unless they have essential work to do. He used by association the same essential duties he had defined in a Executive Order 20-89 for the Miami area. In this order, child care and related support activities were included as essential. Here are the two paragraphs on this subject:
Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities should operate under the following mandatory conditions:

1. Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer (inclusive of
childcare providers for the group).

2. Children and child care providers shall not change from one group to another.

3. If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix or interact with each other.

Office space and administrative support necessary to perform any of the above listed activities; please note the limitations placed on doing child care.

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PHELC Update: March 30, 2020
 
As the Coronavirus continues to affect our country, the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando County, Inc. (PHELC) is providing an update to the communities that we serve.
 

As we continue to live and work through this pandemic, there are many unknowns. I want to share with you that we have some amazing providers electing to stay open to help families that need to work. These heroes need to be heralded for their bravery and commitment to help people.  

Some providers have been criticized publicly for staying open during this pandemic. More than half of the parents requiring childcare would be considered first responders, or front line workforce, like early childcare providers.

We are also working with local businesses and community groups in an effort to assist providers that have elected to stay open with obtaining cleaning and infant/toddler supplies which have been drastically depleted in an effort to follow all of the CDC recommendations.  We have received a donation that will allow us to purchase some items for providers such as sanitizers and paper products. We’re hoping to help as many providers as possible during this time. If you can help, please email us at coalition@phelc.org

The majority of Coalition staff are working remotely in an effort to practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC.  However, if you need to contact your provider specialist, all Coalition staff emails are on our website – www.phelc.org – under the About Us tab.

Staff are routinely in contact with our providers including making daily calls to providers for emotional and programmatic support. They also share updates and answer any questions.  The Coalition is dedicated to having a positive attitude and is committed to helping our providers and families during this challenging time.

Stay strong, stay healthy, take care of yourself and your loved ones, and remain hopeful.  Thank you for your service!

PHELC Update: March 18, 2020 
 

From the Office of Early Learning and the Department of Education:  IMPORTANT UPDATE RELATED TO PROGRAM OPERATIONS, CLOSURES AND ELIGIBILITY

Dear Providers:

Currently, we are experiencing a very unprecedented time in the early learning industry. A time of uncertainty, a time of doubt and a time of fear. Through the news, many of us have heard about the increased need for first responders, including law enforcement, fire, EMS and medical staff. It is my firm belief that childcare directors, owners, teachers and support staff are also part of the first responder family. I assure you that we here at the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties are committed to walking beside you during this time. 
 

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PHELC Update: March 16, 2020 
 
Important Message from the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc:
 

Dear Child Care Provider,

As we continue to monitor the progress of COVID-19, it becomes more critical that we continue to communicate with you and assure you have the answers you need protecting the health and well-being of your children, families, and staff.  It will be the intent of the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties (ELC) to send status reports via email, through social media and posting information on our website (www.phelc.org) as new information becomes relevant to COVID-19. Please keep an eye out for these communications and feel free to reach out to us if you have additional questions.

At this point, you should have received the necessary correspondence from the ELC by the various health organizations providing guidance and best practices to keep the transmission of the virus to a minimum.  If you need that information again, to include signage and posters, please let us know.

There are many questions arising regarding child care center closures.  Last week’s email to providers very clearly stated the rules involved regarding closures.  The ELC is not an authority to make the decisions regarding closures.  The ELC does, however, have to follow the rules pertaining to provider payments.  In general, unless a provider is closed down by an authority (ie, Department of Health, Center for Disease Control etc…) the rules that were sent to you last week continue to apply.  At this point, even though the State of Florida has closed public schools, we have received no direction from any authority demanding closure to any child care centers. 

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