Child Care of Southwest Florida will reopen two additional early learning centers in Fort Myers to accommodate demand as parents return to work following COVID-19 closures.
The nonprofit organization also has announced that families facing economic hardships caused by COVID-19 can apply for federal funds to help cover their weekly child care costs.
The two centers, P.A. Geraci Child Development Center at 3713 Canal St. and The Children’s Learning Center at 37 Barkley Circle, will reopen on June 1.
Child Care of Southwest Florida temporarily closed its six accredited learning centers on March 27 to protect the health and wellbeing of children, teachers and parents. Two centers, The Community Children’s Center in Lehigh Acres and Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center in Fort Myers, already reopened May 18.
“Our region is gradually reopening and the economy is rebounding, but for parents to go back to work, they need a safe, affordable option for their children,” said Chris Hansen, CEO of Child Care of Southwest Florida. “As a nonprofit, we are able to offer reasonable weekly rates while still delivering a high-quality, education-focused program.”
Child Care of Southwest Florida is accepting new student registrations. As a state-certified Gold Seal Quality Care Program, families attending any Child Care of Southwest Florida location can apply for financial help through the Childcare Assistance Program, which is managed locally by United Way using federal funds provided to Lee County through the CARES Act. Staff are available to help parents apply for funding through the CARES Act, as well as first responders and health care professionals who qualify for free or reduced rates.
Additional scholarship assistance also is available, and nutritious meals and snacks are included at no additional charge through the USDA’s Child Food Care Program. Visit CCSWFL.org or call 239-278-1002 for more information on programs and costs.
Each Child Care of Southwest Florida facility has undergone a thorough deep cleaning and staff have sanitized all toys, books, desks and touchpoints throughout each classroom. Child Care of Southwest Florida implemented the following safety procedures as centers reopen:
- All children will undergo daily temperature checks and health screenings. Children with symptoms will be asked to stay home.
- Parents must drop off their children at the front lobby or entrance. Visitors will not be permitted to enter hallways or classrooms.
- Staff members and children ages 3 and older will be required to wear protective face masks.
- Classrooms will operate at reduced capacities based on state and federal guidance.
- Learning facilities and classroom supplies will be thoroughly cleaned nightly, while touchpoints will be sanitized throughout the day.
Reopening plans have not yet been announced for Harlem Academy Child Care Center in Clewiston or Children’s Garden of LaBelle.
About Child Care of Southwest Florida
Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. (CCSWFL) is a nonprofit early childhood education provider with six learning centers in Lee and Hendry counties that serve more than 400 children from 6 weeks to 8 years old. Each center is accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders and is recognized as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program through the Florida Department of Children and Families. All six CCSWFL locations have five-star ratings through the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. CCSWFL follows the nationally recognized, research-based Creative Curriculum, with a goal of creating safe, nurturing learning environments that develop young minds, support families, strengthen the community and secure the future. Through its participation in the USDA’s Child Food Care Program, each child has access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks. Sponsor, volunteer and donation opportunities are available. For more information, please visit ccswfl.org.