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COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

Since March 2020, the Florida Department of Education and the Division of Early Learning have allocated more than $1 billion in relief funds to keep early care and education providers open and able to safely serve families so they could continue to work, including our state’s first responders and health care providers. That includes more than $223 million in Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds, more than $603 million in Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) funds, more than $153 million in Child care and Development Block grant funds, more than $84 million in general revenue funds and more than $5 million in Preschool Development Grant Funds.

These funds have provided resources and support to help early child care and education providers remain open or re-open, pay parent co-pays and provide mini-grants to providers and educators to help them continue to enhance their skills and classroom environments for both safety and high-quality learning.


CARES Act Funding

The following document provides further details on CARES Act implementation:

CARES Act Initiatives 


Temporary Closures

DEL recognizes the magnitude of the current federally declared COVID-19 crisis on a provider's operations and received authorization to pay for VPK closure days from CARES Act funds for the period of October 2020 through June 2021.


Fee Waivers - School Readiness 

In accordance with DEM Order No. 20-004, all parent copays were waived, regardless of income, from May 1, 2021 - June 30, 2021 and will be paid from CARES Act funding.


First Responder Program

The Division of Early Learning (DEL) recognized child care as a vital need for parents and communities and understood the need to have access to child care services that enabled first responders, health care workers and impacted families to continue shared efforts to address the COVID-19 emergency. 

Child Care for Health Care Workers and First Responders - The Division of Early Learning, along with local Early Learning Coalitions, provided child care and early learning services to 28,000 children of first responders and health care workers, at free or reduced rates, to support Florida’s response to COVID-19. The application period ended July 31, 2020 and the program ended on March 31, 2021.

Child Care for Health Care Workers and First Responders

Child Care Services for First Responders and Health Care Workers FAQs

Child Care Provider Bonus for Serving Children of Eligible First Responders and Health Care Workers

Phase I and Phase II Funding 

These funds supported providers that were open on April 30, 2020 and helped re-open providers that were closed on this date and reopened or planned to reopen by August 21, 2020.

Grant Application: SR/VPK Provider

Grant Application:Non-Contracted Provider  

CARES Act Phases I and II Allocations by Provider Statewide

Implementation of CARES Act Funding: Phase I and Phase II

Memo 2020-19: COVID-19 Grants to Early Learning/Child Care Providers:Phase I and Phase II


Phase III Funding

These funds supported providers, including contracted Public/Charter School providers and CLASS exempt providers, that were closed for business as of April 30, 2020 and either reopened or planned to reopen by August 31, 2020.

Grant Application: SR/VPK Provider

Grant Application:Non-Contracted Provider  

CARES Act Phase III Allocations by Provider Statewide

Memo 2020-26: COVID-19 Grants to Early Learning/Child Care Providers: Phase III


Phase IV Funding

Coalitions will receive additional funding to support private early learning/child care providers and contracted school district providers that were classified as operational/open on October 15, 2020, and providing on-site early learning/child care services on the date of application, to assist them in remaining open.

Grant Application: All Providers 

CARES Act Phase IV Allocations by Provider 


CRRSA Act

The following document provides further details on CRRSA Act implementation:

CRRSA Act Initiatives 


Temporary Closures

DEL recognizes the magnitude of the current federally declared COVID-19 crisis on a provider's operations and received authorization to pay for VPK closure days from CRRSA Act funds for the period of July 2021 through June 2022.


Phase V Funding

Coalitions will receive additional funding to support private early learning/child care providers and contracted school district providers that were classified as operational/open on April 1, 2021 and are providing on-site early learning/child care services on the date of application, to assist them in remaining open during the COVID-19 crisis. Provider must have remained open and operational, with the exception of temporary closures due to COVID-19 or other temporary emergencies.

CRRSA Act Phase V Provider Grant Allocations Statewide  

Grant Application: All Providers 


Phase VI Funding

Coalitions will receive additional funding to support private early learning/child care providers and contracted school district providers that were classified as operational/open on September 1, 2021 and are providing on-site early learning/child care services on the date of application, to assist them in remaining open during the COVID-19 crisis. Provider must have remained open and operational, with the exception of temporary closures due to COVID-19 or other temporary emergencies.

Private providers are also eligible for additional allocation for workforce incentives. Providers must expend this allocation on workforce initiatives such as recruitment/on‐boarding expenses (e.g., $250 as a signing bonus, $300 for onboarding), retention/upskilling (e.g., $500 as retention bonus after six (6) months employment and completing the 45 hours of DCF training, monthly teacher stipend that incentivizes retention and helps with increased hourly wages).

CRRSA Act Phase VI Provider Grant Allocations Statewide 

Grant Application: All Providers 


Coalition Workforce Initiative for Early Educators

COVID‐19 has negatively impacted provider enrollment and many providers have experienced a loss of staff due to COVID‐related closures of classrooms or centers. This initiative provides ELCs/RCMA the opportunity to build upon their current initiatives by applying for $35,000,000 in funding to assist early learning providers with attracting and retaining highly qualified professionals, particularly in underserved communities to be implemented in the following focus areas:

  • Recruit new early educators and reward them with a financial incentive upon completion of targeted preparation,
  • Upskill current early educators and reward professionals with a financial incentive for achieving specific, measurable key professional development goals, and/or
  • Retain qualified professionals who have already achieved key professional development goals andremain employed for a specific period of time by providing financial incentives at determined benchmarks.

Coalition Workforce Initiatives for Early Educators Application 


Coalition Program Outreach, Awareness and Family Supports

These funds support initiatives from September 2021 through June 2022, with continued opportunities in July and August 2022 to raise awareness of the importance of high-quality early learning programs / services, developmental screenings and available supports through community events. The funds may also provide families and providers with monthly engagement materials, including books, to promote early literacy activities.


Rising K Program

In an effort to minimize potential loss of learning due to school and private prekindergarten program closures in spring 2020, the Rising Kindergarten (Rising K) program is based on practices that produce the greatest gains, targeted to support students with the most significant pre-academic and academic need.

Program Guidance 780.01

Memorandum of Understanding

Memorandum of Understanding Amendment 

2020 Rising Kindergarten Program Application

2020 Rising Kindergarten Program Application Budget

2020 Rising Kindergarten Program Funding Allocation


Other Resources

Florida Department of Education Resources 

Office of Child Care Mental Health and Wellness Resources