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Access to child care services increased for first responders, healthcare professionals

Posted at 11:05 AM, Apr 20, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Education's Office of Early Learning (OEL) is making it easier for first responders and healthcare professionals to get access to care for their children.

OEL created a referral process and is working with employers and statewide early learning coalitions to provide priority access and expedited referrals for those parents.

Currently, OEL says 50% of Florida's child care facilities are closed.

"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."

OEL says first responders and healthcare workers that need help finding child care should contact their local early learning coalition for assistance.

Click here for a map of Early Learning Providers in the state.

The services will be offered for three months, OEL says. Continue care will be reevaluated before the end of services.