Home » Families » School Readiness » How to Apply for School Readiness

How to Apply for School Readiness

School Readiness for Families is an early learning program that helps working-families with childcare expenses while preparing their children for school. The School Readiness program is available through various participating childcare providers. Eligibility is based on total family income and parents must be working or going to school. The program serves children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age. Fees are assessed based on a sliding fee scale. Hours of childcare are determined by each childcare provider.


  1. Click the Family Services Portal link below, or on our homepage.
  2. Register to create your account.
  3. Fill out an application. Make sure you have the proof of income and/or school enrollment in hand.
  4. Submit your application.

What Happens Next:

Once your application is reviewed, you will receive an acceptance or rejection email. 

If rejected, don’t panic! 

  1. Double-check your application for correct info. 
  2. Call us at 863-577-2450 if you have questions

Important Documentation

  • Proof of Florida Residence
  • Proof of your child’s age
  • Most recent paystub, employment verification, school schedule or disability award letter.

How to choose a quality childcare provider:


Visit several different childcare programs before you decide which one is best for your family. Visit the childcare program more than once, at different times of the day. Stays as long as possible so you can get a good feel for what the care will be like for your child. After you start using childcare, continue to visit from time to time.

  • Does the childcare program look safe?
  • Are the children supervised at all times, even while they are sleeping?
  • Do all caregivers and children wash their hands often, especially before and after eating and after using the bathroom or changing diapers?
  • Are toxic substances like cleaning supplies and pest killers kept away from children?


  • What does the childcare setting sound like?
  • Do the children sound happy and involved?
  • Do the teachers seem cheerful and patient?


Count the number of children to adults and the number of children they will be supervising. Be certain there are enough adults to supervise all of the different activities that are planned. Remember, the fewer the number of children for each adult, the more attention your child will get.

State Adult to Child Ratios for Child Care Centers

  • Birth – 12 months (1:4)
  • 12-24 months (1:6)
  • 2-year-olds (1:11)
  • 3-year-olds (1:15)
  • 4/5-year-olds (1:20)
  • School-age children (1:25)


Ask about the training and experience of all adults who will be with your children. Find out about any special training staff has received and whether the program is accredited.

  • Do the adults have first aid and CPR training?
  • Are their discipline policies compatible with your philosophy?
  • Are children able to choose among activities?
  • What do the adults know about child development?
  • Have all caregivers gone through a background check?

Be Informed:

Find out more about efforts in your community to improve the quality of childcare.

For more information on choosing a safe and healthy childcare setting, please visit the following links:

Stay tuned with us through our newsletter

Newsletter Heartbeat Logo