Helping Families Ensure Their Children Enter School Ready to Learn


Latest Updates



Following President Trump’s call for an extension of social distancing to April 30, Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran has called on school systems to remain closed until May 1. In alignment with the Florida public K-12 schools, all HS/EHS locations will have the target opening date of May 4, 2020.  Further, all One Stop Offices, the Central Administrative Office and the Skylark Administrative Office will be closed through April 30th.  At this time, ECS hopes to bring all staff back on May 1.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving and complex situation. ECS will continue to provide updates as this situation evolves. Thank you for your patience and continued support of ECS and the children and families we serve.



Today, Mayor Curry implemented a work from home order for Duval county businesses. Under the Mayor’s mandate, ECS will close the Central office and the Skylark administration office effective immediately. The health and safety of our employees remains our utmost concern.


Following guidance from the Office of Head Start, all HS/EHS locations will remain closed through April 15, 2020 in alignment with the Florida public K-12 schools. The closure date may be extended depending on further guidance. Please continue to check our website for the most up to date closure information.



ECS will close the Head Start/Early Head Start centers from March 16 – March 27 in the following counties:

  • Alachua 
  • Baker 
  • Bradford 
  • Citrus
  • Clay
  • Dixie 
  • Duval
  • Gilchrist
  • Lake
  • Levy
  • Marion
  • Nassau

The following locations will remain open at this time:

  • ECS Central Administrative Office 
  • Skylark Administrative Office 
  • Good Shepherd Early Learning Center 
  • All One Stop locations

For many of our programs, this extends scheduled Spring Break by one week. Employees located in any of the centers listed above are asked to contact their supervisor for specific instructions.

We recognize the difficulty center closures will create for our families, however based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, these measures will help us maintain the safety, health and well-being of our children, staff and community.

This is an evolving and complex situation and we will continue to follow the latest updates for guidance on the most effective and sensible prevention measures. Thank you for your patience and support of our programs.







JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 13, 2020 –Episcopal Children’s Services will cancel the annual Children’s Champion Gala, previously scheduled for Thursday, March 26, 2020 at the University of North Florida. UNF has encouraged all non-essential large events to consider cancelling plans and we feel this is the best decision, taking into consideration the health and well-being of our community.

As this is an ever evolving and complex situation, we will continue to monitor reports to stay informed and communicate relevant information. Safety is always a top priority and concern for Episcopal Children’s Services. Our goal at this moment is to minimize any possible health and safety risks to all in attendance including our honorees, participants, attendees and staff.

Once new plans have been made to move forward to celebrate our dynamic award recipients, we will communicate those plans. For more information on the history of the awards gala and updated 2020 gala plans, visit


Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS) is a recognized leader in early childhood education serving more than 53,000 children and their families in 14 counties in Florida. ECS offers School Readiness, Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Baker, Bradford, Clay Duval, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Marion, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lake, Levy, Citrus and Alachua counties.

ECS uses research and best practices to help families ensure their children enter school ready to learn. Talented, dedicated teachers and staff work proactively with children from birth to age five and their families to build a strong educational foundation.









Dear ECS family,

As always, the health and wellness of ECS’s children, families and staff remains one of our highest priorities. On Monday, March 9th we advised that all international travel would require our staff to self isolate for 14 days based on the travel advisory on the Florida Department of Health website. The Florida Department of Health has revised their advisory to the following:

International Travel Advisory

The Florida Department of Health is advising all individuals who have traveled internationally to follow the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, summarized below:

  • Level 3: CDC recommends 14-day self-isolation and social distancing upon return to the United States. Social distancing includes avoiding going out in public and close personal interactions. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your County Health Department (CHD) or health care provider.
  • Level 2 and Cruises: Travelers should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your CHD or health care provider.
  • For more information regarding current CDC travel advisories related to COVID-19, visit:

Therefore, ECS is recommending that staff traveling to a country that has been assessed by the CDC to be a Level 2 risk or Level 3 risk, report their travels to the COVID-19 email designation and plan to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work. Additionally, staff that travel on a cruise will also be asked to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work.


This is an evolving and complex situation and we will continue to follow the latest updates for guidance on the most effective and sensible prevention measures. Please find a Fact Sheet with important information about the coronavirus COVID-19. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Temple DePlato, AVP of Quality and Risk Management. I will keep you posted on any new developments or changes to our protocols as this situation unfolds.



Connie Stophel





Dear ECS Family,

Episcopal Children’s Services is in regular communications with the Health Departments in the counties we serve regarding the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. According the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are no cases of COVID-19 in the State of Florida. A recent advisory from the CDC states that “for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low”.

However, ECS will continue to monitor the situation in collaboration with the Health Department. For now, we ask that our staff and families we serve to follow these practices:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid sharing cups and utensils.

If and when further action is recommended as a result of COVID-19, we will inform staff and families through our website (, social media pages, and through the family messenger application (Learning Genie).

You can find updates on the virus at and the CDC’s coronavirus page at

Please be assured that the health and well-being of the children and families we serve and our staff is our highest priority.

Thank you,

Connie Stophel