The ELC of North Florida wants your feedback on some important School Readiness issues.
Please complete our very short survey and let us and the ELC know your thoughts.
School Readiness Services, also known as subsidized child care, are available in Clay, Nassau, Baker, Bradford, Putnam, and St. Johns Counties through Episcopal Children’s Services. However, families must qualify and there is often a waitlist, so it is important to apply as soon as possible.
How do I apply for the School Readiness Program?
The Statewide Family Portal will be used to apply for School Readiness. The how-to videos are available by accessing link(s) below were created by the Florida Office of Early Learning. As new guides and training videos are developed and made available, we will add these to our website for your convenience. If you need additional assistance with the new statewide Family Portal, please feel free to contact ECS at one of the offices listed at the bottom of this page.
If you do not have access to any of these options, you can also contact any of the Episcopal Children’s Services’ office locations to make an appointment to assist you with the application process. Contact information for our offices are listed at the bottom of this page.
Please note: When applying for School Readiness Services, you will be required to upload one supporting document to verify eligibility for the program. A list of acceptable proof of eligibility documents will be available in the application process. This list will vary based on the information entered in the application.
To Qualify for the School Readiness Program Through The ELC of North Florida and Episcopal Children’s Services, You Must:
- Reside in Clay, Nassau, Baker, Bradford, Putnam, or St. Johns County
- Parent(s)/guardian(s) must be working or participating in an educational activity such as attending college or trade school at least 20 hours/week.
- Gross income must be at or below 150 percent of federal poverty level for family size.
- Families must pay a copayment for child care based on income and family size.
Other children may be eligible if they have special needs, are at risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment, their parents are homeless, victims of domestic violence or are low income migrant families or farm workers.
How Much Money Can I Make and Still Qualify?
Eligibility is determined by both income and family size, so it is difficult to answer this question in a general way. To give you an idea, a family of three could earn up to $31,995 a year and still qualify to begin services. After receiving services initially, this same family would continue to qualify until they earned over $50,047 a year or 85% of the State Median Income (SMI). In another example, a family of four could earn up to $38,625 a year initially and would continue to qualify until they earned over $59,580. A family of two could earn up to $25,365 a year initially and would continue to qualify until they earned over $40,514.
How Does the Waitlist Work?
If you seem to qualify but our funding won’t allow us to enroll your child at the moment, you can be put on a waitlist. The length of time you can expect to be on the list may vary greatly and is, unfortunately, rather hard to predict. Additional funding sometimes comes in unexpectedly, or people leave our program making room for new clients. In any case, if your name isn’t on the list, you won’t be contacted, so please click on the link listed above to apply for School Readiness services. That way, when we have funding we can reach you.
After you are on the waitlist, keep us informed of changes in your household and contact information. If we try to contact you and can’t, we will have no choice but to take your name off of the waitlist.
What if I don’t qualify? Is there any other way ECS can help?
Yes, we offer Child Care Resource and Referral services to any family for free, regardless of income. This is a service designed to match your child care needs with child care providers and services that can fill those needs. You may want a family child care home that will take both an infant and a 3-year-old, gives sibling discounts, and is within five miles of your job, and we can give you a list of child care programs that meet those needs. Price is often a factor parents ask us to consider when requesting child care listings, but price is not necessarily an indication of quality. Remember that these are only available options, not recommendations, so you need to visit the child care providers yourself to see what you think. However, we do provide checklists that can make it easier to find the child care provider that is right for your family. We also have other community resources available to assist you with financial options.
What should I do if I suspect FRAUD is being committed?
School Readiness is supported by state and federal taxes, and because of this, we are obligated to be good stewards of the funding. If you are aware of an individual committing fraud against the School Readiness and or Voluntary Prekindergarten programs, please contact ECS by either calling
Click here to view the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s Anti-Fraud Plan.
How Do I Contact You?
You can call our offices at 904-726-1500, toll free 1-800-238-3463, or the phone number listed below for the county where you live. We can often help you with just a phone call, but if you would like to come in, we have offices in all the counties we serve. Please call the location nearest you for directions.
You can also apply for School Readiness Services by clicking here
To speak with a CCR&R counselor, call us today!
Toll free: 1-800-238-3463
ECS offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for legal holidays. The Nassau County office is also closed on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Administrative Office: 904-726-1500 Fax: 904-726-1516