Need Help Paying for Child Care?
The average cost of full-time child care for one child is over $3,000 a year, consuming as much as 60% of parents' salaries and wages. Many families find it difficult to afford and must choose between working in our community or staying at home with their child(ren).
School readiness funds pay a portion of child care costs for low to moderate income earning families so that they may seek and maintain employment to support their families. Eligible families are assessed a fee on a sliding fee scale according to income.
The children in School Readiness programs are assisted through screenings, assessments, and developmentally-appropriate early learning programs to prepare them for school. School readiness programs serve children birth to eight and some school-age children receive services before and after school.
To determine if you are eligible for participation in the program, enter your information into the Unified Wait List Website.
Enrollment into the School Readiness program occur when funding allows; otherwise, the Coalition maintains a wait list for services and families are enrolled when funding becomes available. For further information or questions contact us at (727) 233-8291.
What Is The Unified Wait List?The Single Point of Entry (SPE) is a web-based system that parents and guardians use to submit applications for the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) and School Readiness programs. The Unified Wait List (UWL) is a web-based system that the Coalition and contractors use to retrieve and manage applications that the public submits through SPE and is available only to authorized users. For the Unified Wait List Fact Sheet, click here (pdf 24.40 kB) .
Key features and functionality of SPE and UWL:
- SPE accept applications for VPK for a child only if the information entered meets the program's eligibility criteria. SPE does accept all applications for School Readiness programs with eligibility for the programs determined in UWL.
- For VPK applications, a counselor contacts the parent or guardian that submitted the application and arranges an eligibility appointment.
- For School Readiness programs applications, a counselor reviews and verifies the application and determines a child's eligibility for the program. Enrollment in school readiness programs is contingent upon eligibility, available funds, and available providers for a specific program. Eligible children that cannot be enrolled immediately are placed on a wait list in UWL.
- A review of a child's eligibility for school readiness programs is required every six months. Children that continue to meet the eligibility requirements remain on the wait list; those who do not are removed from the wait list.
All parents enrolled in the School Readiness program must be determined eligible for services every three to six months. Some parents may require more frequent re-certifications depending on eligibility funding category.
Once enrolled in the program, parents are given a re-certification appointment and list of required documents to bring to the appointment. It is imperative that parents keep the re-certification appointment so that their enrollment in the program is not jeopardized.
Required Documentation Checklist (pdf 18.97 kB)
Employment Verification form