Children First Inc

Ranked in the top 1% out of more than 1,800 programs nationwide.

Sarasota, FL   |  www.CHILDRENFIRST.net

Mission

Strengthening children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being.

Ruling year info

1998

President & CEO

Philip Tavill

Main address

1723 N Orange Ave

Sarasota, FL 34234 USA

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Formerly known as

Sarasota Day Nursery

EIN

59-0968249

NTEE code info

Child Day Care (P33)

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

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Head Start/Early Head Start

Head Start meets the comprehensive needs of at risk families throughout Sarasota County who have children three to five years of age. The families served live below the federal poverty level (e.g. family of three - gross annual income under $21,330) Children living in foster homes and families on public assistance are eligible as are children with disabilities, irrespective of family income. We have an 9:1 child to teacher ratio.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

Our Early Childhood Education program focuses on the comprehensive needs of children birth to five years of age, whose families live at, or slightly above the federal poverty level. Although these families do not qualify for Head Start or Early Head Start, they are considered “working poor” and most are eligible for state subsidized child-care. Every child we serve at Children First receives equal care.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

Equally important to early education are the services provided to families to enable them to make productive lifestyle choices so that they will be positive role models for their children. This includes helping parents identify and attain goals such as training and employment. We offer training, classes, and other assistance to strengthen families and help them on their way toward self-sufficiency.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

RISE is a partnership between Children First and Take Stock in Children Sarasota County Inc., a statewide mentoring and college scholarship program. RISE provides support to low-income families with students in grades K-5 through a two part approach. One-on-one literacy support for each child instills a love of reading and creates caring relationships between child and mentor, and work with families promotes parent engagement and investment in students’ education. We aim to provide each child and family with encouragement, knowledge and tools necessary to attend college and succeed in the future.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Accreditations

National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs 2016

Awards

Best Children's Nonprofit - Gold 2019

SRQ Magazine

Nonprofit of the Year 2019

WEDU PBS

Educational Outreach 2019

WEDU PBS

Best Places to Work Sarasota-Manatee 2019

Herald-Tribune and Best Companies Group

James E. Duffy "Friend of Literacy" Award 2019

Literacy Council of Sarasota

Best Children's Nonprofit - Gold 2019

SRQ Magazine

Best Places to Work Sarasota-Manatee 2020

Herald-Tribune and Best Companies Group

Best Nonprofits to Work For Top 50 2021

The Nonprofit Times

Affiliations & memberships

National Head Start Association 1994

Number of children who have the ability to use eye-hand coordination, strength, and motor control to use age-appropriate tools and utensils effectively

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Head Start/Early Head Start

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the covid -19 pandemic, end-of-school-year assessments were conducted remotely, in partnership with family reporting, after on-campus services were suspended on March 12, 2020.

Number of children who have the ability to understand and comprehend communication

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Head Start/Early Head Start

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the covid -19 pandemic, end-of-school-year assessments were conducted remotely, in partnership with family reporting, after on-campus services were suspended on March 12, 2020.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children who have the skills necessary to maintain personal health

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Infants and toddlers, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Head Start/Early Head Start

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the covid -19 pandemic, end-of-school-year assessments were conducted remotely, in partnership with family reporting, after on-campus services were suspended on March 12, 2020.

Number of children who have an innate motivation to master and control their environment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Head Start/Early Head Start

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Children will actively explore their environment to discover what objects and people do, how things work and how to make things happen.

Number of children able to exercise appropriate control in independent and group activities

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, Children

Related Program

Head Start/Early Head Start

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the covid -19 pandemic, end-of-school-year assessments were conducted remotely, in partnership with family reporting, after on-campus services were suspended on March 12, 2020.

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.

1. Children First is the preeminent, trusted child care provider, authority and advocate for children ages 0-5 and their families in Sarasota County
2. Children First remains in the top 1% of Head Start organizations in the United States.
3. Children First proactively seeks innovative, entrepreneurial opportunities for growth including integrated socio-economic programs, corporate collaborations and new strategic partnerships.

1a) The Board of Directors, staff and volunteers will be trained as advocates for the organization, growing in knowledge and providing consistent messaging about Children First throughout the community.
1b) Provide leadership in advocacy for children’s issues through partnerships and collaborations.
1c) Children First will begin a community speaker series to raise awareness concerning child and family issues.
1d) Identify and seek funding from foundations and/or individual donors to build the organizational brand.
1e) Explore strategic partnerships and provide leadership to increase anti-poverty efforts throughout Sarasota County.
f) Seek a research/educational partner to fund/direct a longitudinal study to prove what impact CF programming has on children served 0-5.

2a) Provide top-quality career development and training programs for all staff.
2b) Create and disseminate frequent, creative internal and external communications and messaging to keep all constituents up to date.
2c) Continue to place a high priority on the “Families First Initiative."

3a) Research economically feasible financial models for integrated socio-economic programming.
3b) Explore financial models and potential corporate partnerships to provide quality child care for large Sarasota based employers.

--Children First has been named a National Head Start Association Program of Excellence three times
--100% of Head Start classrooms have either a two or four year degreed teacher
--There is a 4:1 federal match for every private donation
--Board members bring people on tours of Children First, are engaged in thanking donors, and serve on fundraising planning and event committees
--100% of Children First Board Members donate to Children First

--Successful Federal Review of Head Start / Early Head Start at end of 2018 performed by 13 Reviewers with expertise in their given fields
--Five sites achieved “4 Star” status as conferred by the Early Learning Coalition
--Met and exceeded federal mandate of having at least 50% of early childhood educators with a bachelor’s degree
--Donor retention rate has been above 80%

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • 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 inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Children First Inc
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Children First Inc

Board of directors
as of 4/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jim Rolfes

Cail Grande Group

Term: 2019 - 2019

Philip Tavill

CEO Children First

Thomas Cail

Cail Grande

Jeff Jackson

PGT Industries

Audrey Coleman

Community Volunteer

Katrina Otchet

Community Volunteer

Michael Keebaugh

Retired

Katherine Martucci

Community Volunteer

Barbara Benson

Community Volunteer

Brock Leach

Retired

Jacqueline Ray

Community Volunteer

Alanna Densmore

High School Student

Howard Berman

Retired

Keith Johnson

SunTrust Bank

Jim Rolfes

Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A.

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 03/24/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/06/2020

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

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.