Helping Families Ensure Their Children Enter School Ready to Learn

Episcopal Children’s Services has been awarded the Early Head Start program in Duval County

Episcopal Children’s Services has been awarded $3,681,613.00 for the Early Head Start program serving 309 vulnerable infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families in Duval County, Florida. This funding is the initial award for this five-year grant beginning 8/1/2019 through 7/31/2024. Episcopal Children’s Services already provides Early Head Start services for 112 families in Duval County so is well equipped to deliver high quality early education, health and nutrition and family advocacy services in our community.

“Every child deserves a strong start in life, and this funding helps ensure that our youngest citizens have the strong foundation they need to flourish throughout kindergarten and beyond, “says Connie Stophel, Chief Executive Officer. “Our ongoing operation and expansion of our program is a result of our ability to continually meet and exceed the rigorous Head Start Performance Standards for program design, development and delivery.”

Episcopal Children’s Services has a long and successful history with delivering the Head Start/Early Head Start program, having been awarded their first Head Start grant in 1996 for Northeast Florida. Their commitment to excellence has been recognized with the continued award of new grants, expanding to now serve 2,389 of the most vulnerable children and families in 12 counties in Northeast and Central Florida with comprehensive infant and young child development services focused on predictors of school success.

This funding comes through the Office of Head Start in the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who promotes the economic and social well-being of children, families, individuals and communities with leadership and resources for compassionate, effective delivery of human services. Because these Early Head Start Services were previously provided by Lutheran Services Florida, Inc. Episcopal Children’s Services is actively coordinating with the Office of Head Start and Lutheran Services Florida Inc. on effective transitions for current Early Head Start students.

For more than 50 years, Episcopal Children’s Services has helped hundreds of thousands of young children build a solid foundation for success in school and life. When children are prepared for kindergarten, they are more likely to graduate high school and attend college, be employed with a livable income, engage in healthy behaviors and contribute to their community.

About Episcopal Children’s Services

Episcopal Children’s Services ( is a nationally recognized leader in early childhood education, utilizing data-driven practices with demonstrable outcomes to provide strong learning for children, support and education for parents and professional development for teachers.

With one in every five children living below the poverty line, our interventions create a lifetime of outcomes for long-term health and success in life, with programs including Head Start/Early Head Start providing comprehensive education, health and nutrition services to almost 2,400 of our most vulnerable infants, toddlers and preschoolers and their families; Early Learning Services providing over 9,000 low-income families with needed financial assistance, so their children can learn in quality care in partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida; and leveraging our expertise in early learning by providing over 80 childcare centers with coaching to improve their quality of care to improve the outcomes for the 2,500 children they serve.