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Florida Department of Education to increase access to child care services

First responders, health care professionals to receive priority placements
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Posted at 7:33 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 19:34:29-04

A REFERRAL PROCESS HAS BEEN CREATED TO PROVIDE PRIORITY ACCESS AND EXPEDITED REFERRALS FOR CHILDREN OF FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. — The Florida Department of Education's Office of Early Learning, in coordination with local early learning coalitions, announced Monday that it has prioritized and increased access to child care services for first responders and health care professionals.

The department said in a news release that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 50 percent of Florida's child care facilities are currently closed and many health care professionals, specially those working extended hours, need to rely on care for their children.

A referral process has been created to provide priority access and expedited referrals for children of first responders and health care professionals.

First responders and health care workers needing help finding a child care provider should contact their local early learning coalition for assistance.

To find a map of Early Learning Providers throughout the state, visit the Office of Early Learning website.

The services will be authorized for three months and it will be reevaluated for the continued need of child care prior to the end of services.

“Our first responders and health care professionals are on the front lines fighting COVID-19,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “These individuals are critical to providing medical care to those affected by the virus, and finding child care for their own children while performing these life-saving jobs allows them to continue serving the public. The Department of Education is committed to doing everything it can to help first responders and health care professionals find quality child care services while school campuses are closed,” said OEL.

For more information about the Florida Department of Education, click here.