Caring for the children of Florida’s first responders, health care workers

Department of Education Increases Access to Child Care Services

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The state is working with local early learning coalitions to increase access to child care services for first responders and health care professionals.

Currently, over 50% 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.

The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning 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,” Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said. “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."

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.