Giving children a great start to life!

aka The Children's Center   |   HILTON HEAD, SC   |


Mission...What are we here to do? Provide affordable high quality early childhood education and child care services for working families. Vision...Where are we going? Be the standard of excellence for child development and care in the Lowcountry. Purpose...Why we exist. Support the community by enabling parents to fully participate in the local workforce and ensuring every child is ready to achieve success upon entering kindergarten.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Children's Center is a part of ABC Quality in South Carolina. Our current quality rating is B+. At each level, programs receive regular on-site reviews to measure performance on the program standards for that level. To see specific quality guidelines visit:

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Jody L Levitt

Main address



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Formerly known as

Child and Youth Development Center



NTEE code info

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Look into the eyes of a young child and see the sparkle, curiosity and wonder. Develop these passions and watch the child bloom into someone special. At The Children’s Center, we work every day to build the foundations for amazing futures, both for the child and for our community. The services provided by our Center allow parents to go to work each day knowing their most precious possession – their child – is well cared for and in a place that will allow them to grow and develop. Without affordable, high quality options for early education and childcare, parents are at risk of not having the necessary resources to provide for the basic needs of their families, health care, food or housing. They must choose between work and caring for their child. At The Children’s Center, we are the first line of defense against an extensive loss of access to health care, food or housing.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Infant and Toddler Care

Beginning with age six weeks, children can attend our Center to receive love, care, nutrition and the first stages of growth and development. Each teacher is committed to the individual child and provides for their individual needs. Children here are nurtured to learn and develop on their timetable. They are encouraged to explore within the safe boundaries of the classroom. Our teachers have regular plans to help the children in their class experience new and different tastes, colors, sensations, sounds and textures that allow their brains to make the necessary connections for future development. From helpless newborn to active toddler, it takes just 12 short months for your baby to undergo this incredible transformation. Babies grow and change at an astounding pace, and every month brings new and exciting developments.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Researchers know pre-K education often find that children who have had early experiences of economic scarcity and insecurity gain more from these programs than their more advantaged peers." Children who are dual-language learners "show relatively large benefits from pre-K education" — both in their English-language proficiency and in other academic skills. Dual-language learners are mostly low income, Spanish speaking children, often with underdeveloped pre-literacy and pre-math skills. Our PreK programming begins with children at age three. Children are exposed to a wide variety of learning and discovery opportunities. Children are offered a variety of opportunities to master a skills, thus addressing multiple learning styles and individual needs. Children have 60 minutes per day of vigorous activity to support their physical health. Teachers who have our graduates say children come into their classrooms ready for kindergarten socially, emotionally and academically prepared.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Children who
don’t participate in meaningful summer experiences can fall behind, this is
called the “summer slide.”  When it comes
to summer learning loss, math takes one of the biggest hits.  In reading, summer learning loss can account
for almost two thirds of the ninth grade achievement gap.  Much of the achievement gap between
disadvantaged youth and their peers can be explained by summer learning loss in
elementary school.   

We recognize that children need both
time to relax and intervention to avoid the learning loss experienced when
school is out for the summer. We expect forty-five children to enroll for
Summer Camp this year are ages 5 – 9 and each day is packed with specific
activities that are designed to minimize the loss of math and reading skills
over the summer.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children

Where we work


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Children's Center is a key to the economic and tourism stability of our community.  By providing early education and child care for those working in support roles, such as landscape, housekeeping, construction and food service our community can maintain the needed employment base to support our vital tourism industry.  Family is the backbone of our society and for parent to have a safe and quality place for their children while at work, they are stronger, more productive and more engaged employees.  When a child comes through the doors of The Children's Center, they feel like they are at their second home with loving adults that desire only to care and develop these children into young people with bright futures.  Our children leave The Children's Center ready to achieve success in kindergarten.

The Board of Trustees has approved a strategic plan that identifies five strategic focus areas, Staff Excellence, Financial Stability, Educational Commitment, Leadership Development and Community Awareness.  Through a collaborative effort of both staff and board, objectives for each focus area, along with an action plan is used to keep everyone focused on mission and purpose in our daily activities. Staff Excellence ensures an emphasis on continuing education for all staff, continued attention on wages and benefits and recognition programs to celebrate achievement by individual staff. Financial Stability is the backbone of any nonprofit organization.   This area focuses of delivery of a balanced budget in conjunction with competitive tuition costs.  Additionally a commitment to securing the necessary funds to operate within that balanced budget is outlined. Educational Commitment is the basis of our purpose.  We will continue to measure our ability to prepare children for formal education and maintain high quality standards as set forth by the State of SC.  Through use of the State of SC Early Learning Standards, we can measure our success and address our weaknesses. Leadership Development addresses the sustainability of the organization.  While funding is a critical issue, the ability to recruit and retain committed community volunteers as Board members is just as critical.  Commitment to recruitment, education, engagement and retention of Board members is addressed in this area. Community Awareness has been a long time challenge for our Center.  Daily we hear from long time residents that they have never heard of The Children's Center.  We have developed a plan to expand our digital presence, reach a larger donor base with the good works of the organization and improve our presence in the communities we serve.

The Children's Center has served the child care needs of working families for many years.  Parents need care for their children while they are working to support their families.  The Children's Center provides the service of care and enhances it to create a place where children grow, develop and thrive.  This wonderful facility can serve up to 200 children through the financial support of our contributors. We are able to help families navigate the somethimes confusing process of state assistance.  We are able to provide healthy food, thanks to our partnership with the USDA and CACFP.  This extends to the weekends because of our partnership with Deep Well's food pantry.   Our ability to reach underserved populations comes through word of mouth and community collaborations.  Our Board actively inspires excellence through both word and action.  Partnerships with Rotary Clubs, community organizations and other service agencies provide a network of opportunities for families and accomplish many internal tasks that would otherwise go unattended or require significant investments, possibly directing resources away from our children. Thanks to these efforts, we are able to maintain a high percentage of donor dollars directed directly to programs for children. We desire to build partnerships with employers that can provide child care benefits for their employment base and offer children a place to build a foundation for a lifetime of success.

In early education, there is not an end to the program, nor is there final goal.  Continuous development of a child's ability to exceed never stops.  As a child moves from infancy to toddlerhood to PreK status, we watch their progress, offer ways for parents to be involved in their own child's growth and encourage confidence and creativity in each individual.  Hundred's of children have graduated for The Children's Center who have become active and successful participants in the community.  We have graduated early childhood teachers, postal workers, insurance agents, dentists and doctors.  Our goal is to help them open their wings and see that the world is theirs if they choose to continue to be creative, to discover and to be confident in themselves and their abilities.  We believe a cure for cancer, a future President of the United States or the fire person that saves a baby's life will be the product of The Children's Center...and the many amazing educators that that touch their lives throughout their educational and life journey.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 06/27/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Robert Eberly, Jr.

Retire - Attorney

Term: 2023 - 2023

Board co-chair

Mrs. Ann McBrien

Retired - Marketing Executive

Term: 2023 - 2023

Robert Mason


Norman (Jake) Kriney

Retired Executive

Helen (Rose) Jackson-Knighton

Banking - VP

Robert Eberly, Jr.

Retired - Legal

Robin Berkeley

Community Volunteer

Kimberly Lewis

Pinnacle Financial Partners

John Howe

Retired - Financial Management

Jose Fuentes


Teresa Kelly

Community Volunteer

Gretchen Griggs

Retired CPA

Ann McBrien

Retired - Marketing Executive

Joanna Hicks

Retired - Educator

Meredith DiMuzio

Marketing Executive

Larry Brown

Retired - Corporate Attorney

Barbara Pawlishyn

Retired - Hospital Executive

Robert Rotella

Retired - Supply Chain Executive

Celso White

Retired - Supply Chain Executive

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/22/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/22/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.