ECS operates early learning centers offering full-day, high-quality early education for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, including Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program.
This program provides valuable information to parents about a wide range of providers, including school-based care, church-affiliated programs, special-needs care, weekend care, before- and after-school programs, and summer camps.
The Regional Training Institute provides professional development training for early childhood educators, preparing caregivers for mandatory state credentialing as a Child Development Associate (CDA). ECS has also developed and implemented an approved training class that meets the state-mandated, five-hour Literacy (birth to 5) requirement for all child care providers.
Episcopal Children’s Services serves as the School Readiness services provider for six counties in Northeast Florida, bringing a unified approach to the region. This also results in better starts for children and ensures that they are eager to learn and ready to succeed when they enter kindergarten.
When the state-mandated VPK program began in 2005, Episcopal Children’s Services organized the start-up and registration of children and providers for it in five counties. Our efforts resulted in enrollment of 83 providers and over 1,800 children for the 2005 – 2006 school year.
Head Start/Early Head Start is a free program for children of families with low incomes, providing comprehensive early learning in both center-based and home-based settings. Episcopal Children’s Services operates 30 Head Start/Early Head Start centers and a home-based program option in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Lake, Levy, Marion, and Nassau Counties, serving pregnant women and children from birth through age 5.
Through the provisions of cash reimbursements, Episcopal Children’s Services ensures that children at its 33 child care centers and Head Start/Early Head Start sites in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Lake, Levy, Marion, and Nassau Counties receive two nutritionally balanced meals and one snack each day in their child care environment.
Links to Early Learning is a research-based, comprehensive curriculum designed to provide a strong foundation for early learning and development in preschool children through rich and varied learning experiences. The goal of the curriculum is to expose children to activities in a play-based setting that are closely aligned to the school readiness goals of the state for both 3- and 4-year-olds and Head Start Child Outcomes Framework. Every lesson is designed to achieve specific learning objectives correlated to those standards.
Episcopal Children’s Services is proud to partner in this initiative with the Jacksonville Children’s Commission to make a meaningful difference in Jacksonville’s school readiness rates and the development of the necessary skills for children to enter school ready to learn. CoachJax! deploys teams of coaches and quality support staff into early learning centers to help directors and teachers improve the quality of their environments, teaching methods, interactions, and curricula.
For more information please contact Jeanne Dillard at 904-726-1500, ext. 222.