Basic Organization Information
EARLY LEARNING COALITION OF FLORIDAS HEARTLAND INC
- Physical Address:
Port Charlotte, FL
- Web URL:
- NTEE Category:
P Human Services
P33 Child Day Care
B Educational Institutions
B21 Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions
W Public, Society Benefit
W02 Management & Technical Assistance
- Ruling Year:
The mission of the Early Learning Coalition of Florida's Heartland, Inc. is to support families and children in accessing high quality early care and education services via School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten programs. The ELCFH also serves as a point of access to resources and referrals for health care and family support services.
Anne Bouhebent began her career in early childhood education as a preschool teacher in 1990. This eventually led to serving as a child care center director and adjunct instructor for local community colleges. Her work moved to the non-profit sector in 1997 with a Child Care Resource and Referral agency in Los Angeles, CA. Her role was to provide training and technical assistance to family child care providers who were contracted to care for children receiving child care subsidies. After moving to Fresno, CA in 2001, she was employed by First 5 Fresno County- an agency which administered public funds for innovative early care and education programs including home visitation, center based child care, faith based child care, program assessment and child screening. During this time, she also completed her Master of Arts Degree with focus on Early Childhood Education at California State University, Fresno. She was hired as the Executive Director of the Early Learning Coalition of Florida's Heartland, Inc. in November, 2006. In her time of service to the ELCFH she has focused on the need for high quality child care services for children, assuring children's personal rights are understood and honored, and building a transparent and fiscally responsible non-profit organization.
The Early Learning Coalition of Florida's Heartland Inc. provides financial assistance for child care for low income and at-risk families in Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands Counties. The children we serve are in need of child care services while their parents work or attend school, or have a referral from a partner agency mandating the need for child care. The child care service is provided through local child care providers who qualify to contract with the ELCFH By contracting with the ELCFH, child care providers agree to provide a high quality early care and education program to children. This directly aligns with the mission of the ELCFH Board of Directors which is to support families and children in accessing high quality early care and education services via SR and VPK Programs. The vision of the ELCFH is that each child will have a strong early foundation to ensure a lifetime of success. ELCFH staff supports both the mission and vision of the Board through comprehensive work with child care providers and parents. We strive to provide top notch information through training, technical assistance, and written materials to support the developing child. Currently the ELCFH is serving 1,617 children who are identified as low income, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) recipients or are at-risk for child abuse or neglect. The need for high qualitychild care is great for these children, and research findings show communities that investing in young children now, saves on tax dollars later. The HighScope Perry Preschool longitudinal study found that children with adverse issues early on in life who attended high quality early care and education programs generally did better as adults. In this study, low income participants attended a high quality preschool program and then followed through adulthood. At the age of 40, they were found to be more likely to have graduated from high school, have a savings account, and own a home. Additionally, they were less likely to have needed remedial education or to have been arrested.It is estimated that for every dollar spent on high quality early care and education programs for our most vulnerable children,taxpayers realize a later savings of $7.16 (Schweinhart, 2002). The dollars received by the ELCFH for child care services and programs is directly utilized towards the 6% community match requirement. These dollars are spent on child care services or designated programs and assure that local child care providers are reimbursed for 100% of the service they provide.
Board of Directors
Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation
School Readiness Programs
Human Services, General/Other
- Population Served:
Infants/Babies (under age 5)
Children Only (5 - 14 years)
The School Readiness Program provides financial aid for child care services for low income children whose parents are either working or attending school. These services are provided through local, contracted child care providers. The ELCFH expects that the child care services are of the highest quality as research studies have shown that low income children who have access to high quality early care and education services do significantly better in school.
Program Long-Term Success:
Ultimately, long term economic success is realized as parents are able to secure better employment (some through access to needed education) and are no longer in need of child care subsidies. Success is also realized as children enter school ready to learn: of 90 School Readiness funded children who are starting kindergarten in the Fall, 2012, 78% were noted as typically developing through the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (child development screening). Those children whose screening results indicated a possible lag in development were provided support services through the provider facility or referred to a partner agency for further evaluation to determine if the child had a special need. Early identification of a special need coupled with needed interventions can help to greatly reduce the negative outcome of the need and move the child towards school success.
Program Short-Term Success:
Children receiving financial aid for child care services through the ELCFH are provided with a developmental screening (Ages and States Questionnaire). This screening helps to detect lags in development that warrant additional support or more formal evaluation. A total of 967 children receiving financial aid for child care services in the ELCFH service area were screened; 73% of those children were determined to be typically developing. The other 27% were either provided support services at the child care provider facility (for less significant issues) or referred to a partner agency for additional evaluation to determine if the child had a special need.
Program Success Monitored by:
The ELCFH monitors the School Readiness Program through facilitation of child care provider contractual monitors. These monitors carefully review all aspects of the provider contract to assure that the service provided to children is the best possible. Child progress is tracked through child screening, assessment and referral activities which are monitored through an on-line system and internal database. Additionally, the ELCFH Is monitored by Florida's Office of Early Learning (State level lead agency) to assure services are aligned as mandated by Florida Statute.
Program Success Examples:
Parent success- a client recently wrote a letter to the ELCFH expressing her gratitude for the financial aid for child care services that she received for her child. She had just completed her Associate's degree and was moving forward with a Bachelors degree. She stated that attainment of education would not have been possible without the support of the ELCFH- she would soon be able to secure gainful employment that would allow her to support her family. Child success- a young child was receiving child care services through the ELCFH. An Early Care and Education (ECE) Specialist facilitated a developmental observation/ assessment of the child at the request of the parent and child care provider and noted that she appeared to be delayed. After much evaluation, a serious delay was identified and needed therapies finally started for the child. The child is continually progressing and has reached major developmental milestones that without intervention would have been difficult, if not impossible, for her. The ECE Specialist continues to monitor the child's progress and provides support and information to the child's parent and child care provider.
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit
Recent major accomplishments for the ELCFH have included receipt of funding from new funders/ community partners to support programs for young children; the provision of a wide array of professional development opportunities for local child care providers including individualized, on-site technical assistance; and significantly decreasing ELCFH operational costs through staffing and facilities reduction. Savings in funding were utilized to support the growing cost of child care for at-risk and low income children.