What is the name of your organization?
The Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County.
What is your mission?
Building community-wide commitment for comprehensive, high-quality early learning environments that benefit the children and families of Palm Beach County.
How and when did you get started?
For years, Florida was challenged with providing superior early childhood education to help children be prepared for kindergarten.
As a result of this challenge, in 1999, the Legislature enacted the School Readiness Act (s. 411.01, F.S.), which consolidated each of the early childhood education and childcare programs across the state into one integrated program of school readiness services. Specifically, the act created the Florida Partnership for School Readiness to coordinate school readiness programs administered by local school readiness coalitions at the county or multi-county level. School readiness programs were charged with (but not limited to) overseeing adherence to the following:
- Implementation of a developmentally-appropriate curriculum;
- Assurance of appropriate staff-to-children ratio; and
- Providing parents with information to assist them in the process of choosing a high-quality early learning program within one of the Coalition’s contracted child care providers.
The Palm Beach County School Readiness Coalition was incorporated in 1999 and submitted its School Readiness Plan in 2000. In 2005, the Legislature changed the School Readiness Coalition to the Early Learning Coalition and added the administration of the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program as a function of the Coalition. VPK is a statewide kindergarten-preparatory program that is free to Florida residents. The VPK program was designed to enhance each child’s ability to make age-appropriate progress in the development of language and cognitive capabilities through education in basic skills.
Today, in Palm Beach County, and across the state, the delivery system for School Readiness program is comprised of child care providers, family child care homes, faith-based providers, as well as School District sites operated by the School District of Palm Beach County. School Readiness programs are funded through a mixture of state and federal funds, as outlined and mandated in Chapter 1002.83, Florida Statutes.
Who do you help?
Early childhood is an important time in every child’s life. Experiences during the first five years of a child’s life provide the foundation for success in school and chart a course for future success.
As a result, the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County, Inc. strives to ensure that children and their families have access to high-quality, affordable early learning programs and services in our community. As a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we are funded through state and federal dollars; in addition we receive local funding through our partnership with the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.
The Early Learning Coalition:
- Works to determine the needs of young children in our county.
- Develops, plans and works in collaboration with community partners to ensure children are ready for school.
- Assures the quality of early childhood services.
- Handles families’ enrollment and eligibility questions for all your child care needs.
- Works with child care providers to provide them with payments/reimbursements for their services.
- Oversees Florida’s free Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program, which serves over 10,000 children throughout Palm Beach County.
- Offers professional development for our early care and education teachers.
- Administers funding for the School Readiness program and supplemental locally-funded Children’s Services Council (CSC) Scholarship program, which assist eligible, low-income parents get early education and care for their children so they can work and/or get the education or training in order to become self-sufficient.
- Implements the federally-funded Early Head Start (EHS) program through participating child care providers in the areas of the highest need throughout the county.
- Provides Inclusion and other services related to Special Needs.
- Promotes to community stakeholders the need for early education.
Are there volunteer opportunities? Any where children can be helpful/involved?
Please contact us if you are interested in volunteer opportunities: https://www.elcpalmbeach.org/contact-us-elc
Are there any specific items that people can donate?
Donations of PPE (personal protective equipment), as well as supplies (hand sanitizers, masks, etc.) are welcome. Please contact us if you are interested in donating items: https://www.elcpalmbeach.org/contact-us-elc
What is your website?
What else do we need to know about you?
We have a great mailing list, with useful newsletters containing tips for parents across Palm Beach County. We welcome you to the subscribe to our mailing list here:[email protected] or text your email address to 22828! We also encourage you to follow us on social media, for the most up to date information on child care: