Child care for front-line workers application period extended through June

Mother and child with face mask and hand sanitizer
First responders, health care workers and 911 operators can access free or reduced child care.

The Office of Early Learning is extending its child care application and authorization period to June 30.

The statewide organization and its 31 local Early Learning Coalition centers are offering free or reduced child care to frontline workers include law enforcement officers, health care workers, firefighters, paramedics and 911 operators.

“Given what our country is facing during this pandemic, it’s critical that we support our front-line heroes and the least we can do is ensure our first responders, health care workers and others don’t have to worry about child care but instead can focus on saving lives and defeating this virus,” said Aakash Patel, board chair for The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County.

Services under the program will be available for up to three months, with continued need reevaluated prior to the termination of services.

The service is funded through a $211 million appropriation from the federal government as part of its coronavirus relief aid.

It’s available for children of frontline workers up to age 13. There are no income requirements to qualify.

Child care has been an ongoing problem for families where parents must still work, but don’t have anywhere to send their kids during the day.

Most daycare centers are closed and all Florida students are conducting distance learning from home.

While that’s caused issues for parents who are also working from home and forced to juggle both duties, it’s also been an issue for those in jobs that can’t be conducted remotely, like health care and first responders.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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