You can submit an application for School Readiness via the Family Portal
The School Readiness program provides child care assistance to qualified families with financial assistance for child care through a variety of services. The program provides parents with access to high quality early care and education while they are working to become financially self-sufficient. Parents are provided with information on child development, as well as parental engagement opportunities that incorporate parents as their child’s first teacher. Childcare services include extended-day, extended-year, and school age care to support parents in becoming financially self-sufficient.
Each school readiness program provides a developmental screening for children and referrals to specific health and educational specialists. These services work in cooperation with other programs for young children such as Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program.
To learn about eligibility criteria for the School Readiness program and/or to access Child Care Resource and Referral services, please contact our Family Services staff at 772-220-1220. Florida’s Division of Early Learning Child Care Resource Referral Network can also provide assistance and can be contacted at 1-866-357-3239.
This state funded program requires clients to be working 20 hours weekly or attending school. Applying for child care assistance is a two-part process. Once your application and documents are received, we will communicate with you via e-mail regarding the status of your application. Because of our limited capacity, our waiting list is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please update your waiting list information every 6 months to keep your application active.
SCHOOL READINESS ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION
Identity- Please provide one of the following documents to verify each adult’s identity:
• Florida Driver’s License
• Valid picture identification (must be government issued)
Child Documentation – Provide at least one of the following documents to verify each child’s age:
• An original or certified copy of the child’s birth record,
• An original or certified copy of the child’s certificate of baptism or other religious record of the child’s birth, with an affidavit stating that the certificate is true and correct,
• An insurance policy on the child’s life which has been in force for at least 2 years,
• A passport or certificate of the child’s arrival in the United States,
• An immunization record signed by a public health officer or licensed practicing physician, or
• A valid military dependent identification card.
• Proof of guardianship – court ordered documents (if applicable)
Child Citizenship/Qualified Alien Status – Provide at least one of the following documents to verify each child’s citizenship:
• U.S. birth certificate.
• An original or certified copy of the child’s U.S. birth record filed according to law with the appropriate public officer.
• U.S. passport.
• Lawfully admitted alien document (e.g. Forms I-94, I-94A, I-197, I-551 & I-766) with non-U.S. passport.
• Certificate of U.S. citizenship or naturalization.
• Documentation of the child’s Medicaid eligible status with the exception of Medicaid benefits received through the emergency medical assistance program as a non-citizen or non-qualified alien.
• For TANF children identified in Section 1002.87(1)(a), F.S., the child’s status as a TANF recipient, as indicated on a child care authorization submitted by the referring agency, is sufficient to establish the child’s citizenship.
• If no supporting documents listed in subparagraphs (b)1.-7., above are available for a homeless child as defined in Section 1003.01, F.S., a coalition can accept a notarized statement provided by the child’s parent or homeless shelter to establish the child’s citizenship.
Family Size – Please provide at least one of the following documents to verify your family size:
• Documentation of civil status (proof of separation/divorce), if applicable.
• Child Care Authorization form from referring agency
• Food Stamp Award Letter
Residency – Provide at least one of the following documents to verify residency:
• Utility bill (electric, gas, water), cable, internet or home phone bill dated within 12 months of the date the child application is submitted.
• Current and signed residential rental agreement or receipt from rental payment dated within 12 months of the date the child application is submitted.
• Government-issued document (e.g., Florida driver’s license, Florida identification card, property tax assessment showing a homestead exemption), or
• Military order showing that the child’s parent is a service member in the United States Armed Forces and is assigned to duty and resides in Florida when the child attends the school readiness program (e.g., permanent change of station).
• Current proof of residence with your name (examples: lease/mortgage statement signed by all parties, property taxes, current utility bill, current mail from FOOD Stamps/Medicaid (within the last 30 days), paystubs).
• If living with someone – Provide their residency document and a notarized statement written by homeowner confirming their address and that you and child(ren) live in their home, if applicable
Education/Academic Activity – If parents/guardians are currently enrolled in school, please provide the following documents:
• Current school schedule with your name on official school letterhead
• Proof of enrollment from an accredited educational institution.
Employment – If parents/guardians are currently employed, please provide the following (as applicable):
Current and consecutive paystubs from employment income (must be working at least 20 hours per week):
• four (4) weekly paystubs, or
• two (2) biweekly paystubs, or
• two (2) semi-monthly paystubs, or
• one (1) monthly paystub, or
- Business account ledgers, or
- Written documentation from customers or contractors, or
- Federal tax returns
Verification of Employment (VOE) and Loss of Income form completed by your employer. Verification of Employment may be submitted if applicant has been working less than 4 weeks with current employer. State employees may submit a printout of hours worked from People First website.
Earned/ Unearned Income – Please provide the following documents as applicable:
• Proof of all other earned and unearned income within the last four (4) weeks (child support, alimony, social security, veterans’ benefits, unemployment, or adoption subsidy, etc.)
• Social security letter must be dated for current year and give a description of the reason the income is awarded (i.e. disabled child; dependent of wage earner; survivors’ benefits, etc)
• Physician disability statement confirming the parent is exemption from work requirement and providing recommendation for childcare (MUST be dated and signed by the physician only).
• If income such as child support or alimony is ordered but not received, submit current documentation/printout confirming non-receipt.
• Proof of Relative Caregivers/Relative Caretaker (TANF) funds by obtaining the current printout from DCF Access web account (must print detail pages that show the names of the children served)
• For self-employment and cash payment jobs – call the office and ask to speak with a specialist for more information.
The ELC of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee also provides Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) services. CCR&R is the front door for family services in your county. CCR&R staff will let you know about community resources, child care options and other information that may be of assistance to you. Please contact your early learning coalition at 772-220-1220 and ask to speak to a CCR&R specialist for further assistance.