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Support for Families from Puerto Rico Impacted by Hurricane Maria

On October 9, 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties in response to Maria’s catastrophic impact.  The declaration will provide resources and assistance to help meet the needs of families impacted by Hurricane Maria when they come to Florida.

 

Early education and child care are critical needs for displaced families with young children.

 

The following memorandums from the Office of Early Learning (OEL) identify some of the steps OEL has initiated to assist families:

Hurricane Maria General Memo

Hurricane Maria VPK Memo

 

Eligibility and Payment Services for School Readiness and VPK

 

As of October 1st, the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County (ELC) began providing eligibility and payment services for the School Readiness and VPK programs.  The ELC welcomes all new staff and is excited to have them on our team. 

In order to ensure timely processing of upcoming re-determinations during this transition, re-determinations with a due date between October 1, 2017 and October 15, 2017, are being extended.  The new re-determination date will be November 30, 2017.  

Please ensure that all required documents are updated through the link provided below, no later than November 30, 2017.  The link is: https://family.elcbroward.org/

Listed below are frequently asked questions that have come up during our transition of services.  We hope they are helpful to you and wish to keep you informed:

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE ELC TO OUR EARLY LEARNING PROVIDERS

To our Early Learning Partners in the Community,

Over the summer, the Early Learning Coalition of Broward embarked on a fiscal monitoring of the County’s entire early care system.  After months of analyzing, fact checking, and conferring with our Board of Directors, it was determined that the overall system is projected to overspend its State-allowable administrative funds substantially, and the best way to immediately address this overspending would be for the ELC to begin directly managing administrative functions it currently contracts to others. 

 

By far, the largest administrative function the ELC has traditionally contracted out is Client Eligibility Determination and Provider Payment Services for both School Readiness and VPK.  It had been hoped that a gradual transition of this service from its current subcontractor, Broward Regional Health Planning  Council, to the ELC would occur, giving everyone time to adjust slowly to change.  Unfortunately, in the last couple of weeks it became necessary for this change to occur on October 1, 2017. 

 

Because of the greater role technology has played in eligibility, enrollment, and payment in the last few years, and because the ELC already has the technology to both ensure enrollments run smoothly and child care providers get paid on time, you will experience no delay in reimbursement during the management change.  Actually, in the near future, the ELC hopes to decrease the amount of days between provider enrollment submission and payment.  Additionally, ELC plans to hire many of the Eligibility and Payment Processing staff currently employed by BRHPC.  So, you may actually be corresponding with exactly the same people with whom you currently correspond. 

 

We will be in touch with you throughout the management change process to let you know exactly when and how data management changes will occur.  We also may need to reach out to each of you to re-sign electronic fund transfer forms to ensure you are reimbursed efficiently

 

The ELC Broward has scheduled a Provider Transition Information Meeting for Tuesday, September 26th at 10:00 AM at Lauderdale Lakes Library/Education and Cultural Center located at 3580 W. Oakland Park Blvd. Lauderdale Lakes, 33311.

 

The ELC will continue to provide updates to you through your provider representative, through our website, the Provider Portal, and through social media throughout this transition, including an FAQ that will be posted early next week.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM ELC BROWARD TO SCHOOL READINESS AND VPK FAMILIES

 

To our Valued Families,

 

The VPK certificate or School Readiness (SR) child care subsidy you receive for your child(ren)’s care is currently funded by the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County (ELC), and administered by Broward Regional Health Planning Council (BRHPC).  To create a more financially efficient service that will allow more opportunities for families to enroll in financially assisted child care, the ELC will begin directly providing this service beginning October 1, 2017. 

 

So, beginning October 1st, the ELC will be in charge of the technology portals you use to register, or re-register for financially assisted child care, and for VPK which includes processing the eligibility and enrollment for these programs.  Other than the actual site of the office building being different (if you choose to register in person, rather than use a computer elsewhere), you should notice little to no other change.  All of the same rules for subsidized child care remain in effect.  If you are currently signing up for child care at one of the ELC’s partner sites, including CareerSource, ChildNet, and Broward Sheriff’s Office, these sites will continue to conduct child care services. 

 

The ELC is committed to ensuring there will be no interruption in your registering, or re-registering for financially assisted child care or VPK, and we will keep you informed as the actual shift of management of the system takes place.  In addition to sending you an email, we will be posting updates to our website, www.elcbroward.org.    We will also be posting a Frequently Asked Questions page by early next week.  If you still have questions that have not been answered, please email us at info@elcbroward.org

Thank you

 

****** For those of you who do choose to have your re-determination of child care subsidy done in person and are not already being served at one of our partner sites, the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County’s address is:

 

6301 NW 5th Way, Suite 3400

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Board Member Vacancy

The Early Learning Coalition of Broward County (ELC) is currently accepting applications from local business professionals to fill a seat on its Board of Directors.  Created through State Statute, the ELC administers more than $90 million in local, state and federal funds for child care subsidies, child care teacher training, and other functions to improve access to and quality of early childhood education for Broward’s children and families.  The ELC is guided by its Board of Directors. The Board consists of a combination of governor appointed members, local government and administrative agency leaders, child care professionals, and other local leaders.  Because this board makes decisions concerning public dollars, it is governed by Sunshine Law and State of Florida conflict laws. 

The ELC welcomes all interested business leaders living in Broward County to join in its goal, to provide access to, and supports for the early learning of young children.  Interested individuals should download a copy of the Private Business Member Nominating form and the Policies Governing Board Membership by clicking the link on “How to Get Involved” section of our website. 

Completed Nominating forms should be emailed to Irene Ramos at iramos@elcbroward.org.

For questions about Board Membership please call  (954) 377-2183.

 

FREE Webinar Series on Early Brain Development

 Register today for a FREE Vroom webinar series! Vroom provides interactive tools and resources for parents that highlight the science behind early brain  development. Vroom tips are specifically designed to show parents how they can turn everyday moments like bath time and meal time into opportunities  that  build their children’s brains.

 

 

Visit www.joinvroom.org to learn more about this initiative and how you can incorporate Vroom brain-building activities into your daily activities with your child. We also encourage you to follow Vroom on Facebook and Twitter for more brain-building activities and tips. 

 

 

Broward Reads for the Record 2017

As part of Jumpstart's national campaign, Broward will be joining millions of readers across the nation in reading the book Quackers by Liz Wong on October 19, 2017. Even better, Broward County is uniting to make a true impact on early childhood literacy and raise awareness for early childhood education during this record breaking event. Through a partnership between the Children's Services Council, Broward County Public Schools, Broward Early Learning Coalition, the Jim Moran Foundation, United Way, and multiple Broward early childhood stakeholders, a copy of Quackers will be provided to each:

* PreK (age 4-5) child
* Kindergarten child

Books will be distributed throughout Broward County (including children at public schools, private schools, charter schools, early childhood community centers, and community events!)

To participate in this amazing opportunity, Community Early Childhood Education Providers and Private Schools must complete and submit the REGISTRATION below by Monday, 10-4-17 (EXTENSION)