Watch us Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, lays out the official plan for the initial steps involved in re-opening Florida.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 20, 2020 – The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning (OEL), in coordination with local early learning coalitions, has prioritized and increased access to child care services for first responders and health care professionals. Currently, over 50 percent of Florida’s child care facilities are closed due to COVID-19. Many essential professionals, first responders and health care professionals rely on this care for their children, especially those working extended hours to provide medical care to those in need. OEL has created a referral process, in partnership with employers and statewide early learning coalitions to swiftly provide priority access and expedited referrals for children of first responders and health care professionals.
“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. 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. These services will be authorized for three months, and the continued need for child care will be reevaluated prior to the end of services. For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit www.fldoe.org.
From the Desk of the CEO
Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that all Florida school districts will keep their schools closed for the rest of the school year, due to Covid-19. Accordingly, Head Start and Early Head Start will remain closed for the rest of the school year. We are currently working on a digital curriculum to enhance learning opportunities, for all children currently enrolled in the program, and parent support. Additional information is forthcoming on this great project.
Thank you and continue to visit our website, for the most up to date information on the COVID-19 Virus.
Arlene Dobison, CCAP, HDFP
Chief Executive Officer
The Agricultural and Labor Program, Inc.
Florida’s Governor requested and obtained an Advisory Opinion of the Florida Attorney General (AG) about the applicability of the Sunshine Law during these emergency conditions. ALPI’s Board is annually provided information and documentation of the applicability and requirements of the Sunshine Law in the January – February orientation/training sessions. The AG’s guidance is that the Law still applies. Therefore, ALPI must continue to publicize its meetings as before, and the meetings are still public. Note that the Bylaws require 15 days notice to local media, which has been provided for the upcoming April Board Meeting. The AG further stated that the meeting must be accessible via electronic means and the notice to the public must include that information. So, we must all govern ourselves accordingly.
Opening windows in buildings, including our homes, may prevent the spread of the coronavirus, scientists believe. Read this very interesting Newsweek article here.
Florida’s teachers union on Tuesday urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to keep Florida’s schools closed for the rest of the academic year, saying the “potential damage” from reopening campuses “far outweighs the inconvenience of continuing distance learning.” Read the full article here.
COVID-19 spending bill gives an additional $3.5 billion to the Child Care and Development Block Grant to support families with child care options during this public health crisis. Read more here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
April 6, 2020
“Testing and surveillance is a vital piece of our efforts to beat the coronavirus, and this new funding will expand our ability to track and prevent the virus’s spread across the country,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “State and local public health departments are on the frontlines of our fight against the pandemic, and these new resources will help them build the testing and surveillance capabilities needed to beat the new threat we face.”
“Increasing the capacity of our nation’s public health infrastructure is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in communities across this country,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “These funds will augment core public health capabilities including surveillance and predictive analytics, laboratory capacity, qualified frontline deployers, and the ability to rapidly respond to emerging disease clusters in communities that currently have limited person to person spread of the virus.”
Using supplemental funding, CDC will:
Supplement an existing cooperative agreement to a number of states and local jurisdictions identified as having the highest number of reported COVID-19 cases (“hot zones”) and jurisdictions with accelerating or rapidly accelerating COVID-19 cases. This award will support a range of activities such as lab equipment, supplies, staffing, shipping, infection control, surge staffing, monitoring of individuals, and data management.
Supplement an existing cooperative agreement to state jurisdictions through the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) to enhance surveillance capabilities. Activities include investigating and assessing the burden and severity of COVID-19, evaluating and determining risk factors and outcomes, and planning and implementing prevention strategies. These activities will build on existing programs developed for influenza and other respiratory pathogens. Funds will also be used to assess and evaluate exposed/infected healthcare personnel through clinical interviews to better identify risk factors and protective factors for COVID-19 infection.