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ARPA Educator Stipends

Last day to submit applications for any of the following stipends is May 15, 2024.

Here are the current grant stipends from the ELC-EC:

Recruitment for New Teachers stipend $500- if hired on or after 7/1/2023. 

Health & Safety for New Teachers stipend $700- if hired on or after 7/1/2023 when the DCF Pt I and Pt II courses are completed after 7/1/2023.

New SR Health & Safety stipend $250- if working for a Provider/Employer Contracted with ELC EC for SR and complete BOTH the DCF HNSR and SAFESR courses by 05/15/2024.

Workforce Education stipend amount varies- if hired or in the early childhood field BEFORE 7/1/2023.

Eligibility for Stipends

  1. You must be currently employed at a Provider located in Okaloosa or Walton Counties who is contracted with the ELC of the Emerald Coast for School Readiness and/or Voluntary Pre-K services.
  2. Your Provider/Employer will have to complete an application through the ELC-EC ‘s WebAuthor ARPA portal with the Coalition to participate in the new ARPA Discretionary Grant for 2023-2024. Provider Directors register with center email address and information here: WebAuthor (ARPA Portal) Login   (05.21.24 link removed as applications closed 05.15.24)
  3. The stipends will require you to give documentation to your center director for THEM to submit to the Coalition with the Staff Fund Request application through the Coalition’s WebAuthor ARPA portal.   
  4. All the stipends listed above required that your Provider/Employer is CONTRACTED with the ELC of the Emerald Coast for School Readiness and/or VPK Childcare Services. 
  5. The New SR Health & Safety Stipend requires the Provider/Employer to have a School Readiness Contract (VPK does not have these training requirements currently.) 
  6. Eligible staff can get either: Recruitment/Health & Safety for New Teachers OR Workforce…not both!

Documentation Required for Stipends

  • Recruitment for New Teachers – New Hires ONLY, hired ON or AFTER 7/1/2023 ONLY.  Documentation:
  1. Copy of DCF background screening and
  2. Proof teacher has worked at least 120 hours for Provider Employer.  Proof can be a payroll report showing hours worked since hired or a letter from the director on Program letterhead stating the staff name, staff’s position, hire date, and hours worked to date.
  • Health & Safety Bonus for New Teachers – New Hires ONLY, hired ON, or AFTER 7/1/2023 ONLY. Documentation:
  1. Copy the DCF Transcript showing teacher completed the DCF Pt I and Pt II Training on/after 7/1/2023.
  • New SR Health & Safety – for classroom staff of Programs/Employers that are contracted with the ELC of the Emerald Coast for School Readiness services for the 2023-2024 contract year. Staff of CONTRACTED SR PROVIDERS ONLY. Documentation:
  1. Copy of the DCF certificates showing staff completing BOTH Health and Nutrition in the School Readiness Program (HNSR) and Safety Practices in the School Readiness Program (SAFESR).
  • Workforce – for classroom staff of ELC of the Emerald Coast SR/VPK Contracted Provider/Employers who have been in early childhood prior to 7/1/2023. Applicants employed by School Readiness providers must work a minimum of 20 hours a week in the classroom. Applicants employed by VPK only providers must be listed in the VPK contract. This includes the VPK Director, VPK Lead Teacher, and the VPK Aide. *Clarity for VPK only providers – substitutes on the VPK APP will need to provide proof of classroom work time to be eligible. Documentation:
  1. Current employment – paystub,
  2. Prior employment – paystub or W2 from 2022 showing Early Learning Program as employer, more than one year of service only required for CDA/FCCPC **, 
  3. DCF Staff Credential Verification form or FDOE Educator Certificate#, (scroll down for visual).
  4. If your DCF Staff Credential does not show your degree, then you will provide a copy of diploma/degree. We have confirmation that DCF will update Staff Credential if the degree is not showing (as in example 3 below).
  5. School District VPK teachers will need to supply a copy of their degree with their Educator Certificate. (scroll down for visual)

**The payroll information can be reports from your employer(s), copy(ies) of your personal tax information (1040, W2), or some other third-party documentation that shows you made income from working in the early childhood field (letter from your Provider/Employer). If you upload your tax return – it needs to show where your income was earned like a schedule with the employer’s name.

If you cannot locate prior employment information that shows employment in the early education field, staff may get a letter from that Program/Employer. It must have all of the following:

  1. Must be on letterhead and dated during 2024.
  2. Must be signed by the center director/owner. If the letter is for the center director/owner, then it must be notarized, or it can be countersigned by another member of management of the company.
  3. Must list the employee’s full name, title, and most recent hire date.
  4. Must provide that the employee has been continuously employed since hire except for normal absences. If the employee has worked for the program for multiple periods, the letter may elaborate on work history to establish the 5-year work period for the CDA.

#Scroll down to see acceptable documentation.

What is next?  How does the entire process work?

  1. Teacher fills out form – Provider Staff:  (05.21.24 link removed as applications closed 05.15.24) to Coalition.
  2. Coalition reviews form.  If the form is incomplete, the teacher will have to start over. If the form is complete, teacher information is saved the Coalition database.
  3. Teacher gets with Director to get the stipend(s) documentation for which the teacher is eligible.
  4. Provider Director initiates Staff Funding form(s), uploading teacher documents to ELC-EC ARPA Portal as applicable. 
  5. Teacher fills out form – Direct deposit: and provides copy of canceled check, bank letter, or bank account detail snip (including routing and account number). Submits to Coalition.
  6. Coalition receives and reviews Staff Funding form.  Will reject back to Provider Director if more information is needed. 
  7. If all is good, form is forwarded to Coalition management for approval and payment processing.
  8. Coalition will pay teacher directly via direct deposit.

The Workforce Education Stipends

No Staff Credential with Degree: 

  • AA/BA/MA: $1200

Staff Credential (CDA/FCCPC): 

  • Staff Credential and One Year in ECE: $1750**
  • Staff Credential and Five Years in ECE: $2000**

Formal Education and non-ECE Degree

  • Staff Credential Verification/Formal Education and AA/AS: $2500
  • Staff Credential Verification/Formal Education and BA/BS: $3000
  • Staff Credential Verification/Formal Education and MA/MS: $3500

Formal Education and Early Childhood Degree:  

  • Staff Credential Verification/Formal Education and AA/AS in ECE: $3000
  • Staff Credential Verification/Formal Education and BA/BC in ECE: $3500
  • Staff Credential Verification/Formal Education and MA/MS in ECE: $4000

* Degree must state Child Development, Early Education,  Education Birth to Five,  Education Birth to 3rd Grade,  Early Childhood, or Early Childhood Management to qualify under the Early Childhood Degree section. 

Additional Stipends: In addition to the above-listed stipends. 

  • Director Credential/Renewal (has to be current): $1000
  • Trauma Informed for Child Care Professionals Course: $100
  • Implementing the Florida Standards in Infant and Toddler Classroom (Must be a teacher in an Infant/Toddler classroom): $100.

Accepted Staff Credential Documentation for Workforce

DCF Staff Credential with Early Childhood Degree


DCF Staff Credential with NON-Early Childhood Degree


DCF Staff Credential – Degree info is Missing – WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Submit information to DCF for an updated Staff Credential.


FDOE Educator Certificate


Where to find the DCF Staff Credential form

Where to find the DCF Staff Credential form – the individual must login to their DCF training account.


Then go here and print.