Sept. 26, 2012
-- The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida will be hosting an interactive Town Hall meeting with Dr. Mel Jurado, Director of Florida’s Office of Early Learning. All stakeholders concerned with children enrolled in School Readiness programs are encouraged to attend.
The Town Hall meeting will be held on Thursday, October 18th from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Northern Trust Bank (7960 Summerlin Lakes Drive in Fort Myers). Attendees will discuss the future funding allocation formula for subsidized child care in Collier, Glades, Hendy and Lee Counties.
Subsidized child care is an integral part of Southwest Florida’s economic development. Thousands of families are able to go to work and / or upgrade their skills only because of state and federal funding that allows their children to be placed in quality early learning environments. As a result of a recent investigation by the Auditor General, it was determined that Southwest Florida has been underfunded approximately $10,000,000 annually for multiple years. This would have permitted about 2,000 more children to be placed in care. State leaders will continue discussion over the upcoming legislative session to determine future funding allocations, and it is critically important that the perspective of the Southwest Florida Region be considered in these conversations. Kathleen Reynolds, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition is encouraging good attendance at this meeting so that state leadership will understand how vital School Readiness funding is to our local communities.
For more information about the Town Hall meeting, please contact Virginia McHale at (239) 210-6861 or Virginia.mchale@
ABOUT THE EARLY LEARNING COALITION
The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida is responsible for administering the School Readiness Program for low income and at risk children and families. They are also responsible for administering the Voluntary Prekindergarten program (VPK), which serves all four-year-old children in Lee, Collier, Hendry and Glades counties regardless of income. The VPK program is an entitlement program for all four year olds residing in the State of Florida.
The Coalition strives to enhance the quality of childcare services for children, families, early childhood educators, and community partners in Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties, with opportunities to positively impact the future. For details on our many services or to donate, please visit http://www.elcofswfl.org
or call 239-267-4105.