Early Development

What We Have Learned

Approximately one-half of children are not developmentally or academically ready for Kindergarten in Collier County. There are significant gaps for children from birth to three years old, particularly in early literacy materials for home libraries, and fewer than one-fourth of low-income children are enrolling in any formal child care program.

We know that a shortage of quality, affordable, and accessible care, as well as family preference for at-home care, are the contributing factors. We continue to examine how to best support families with young children to improve early childhood outcomes.

Because there is no “system” that connects resources for all Collier children 0-4 years old, existing supports for school readiness are generally fragmented. As we engage the different partners, we are exploring opportunities to better align and connect resources for families.

Goal: Ensure all children are Kindergarten ready

The Early Development Action Team and Quality Childcare Action are directly aligned to support the Early Development goal. Action Teams are composed of staff & volunteer leaders from organizations aligning work and building strategies together, focused on the following priorities:

  • Engage families with tools and resources to support the early development of their children.
  • Improve the quality of existing early childhood education providers.
  • Increase the number of high quality early childhood education spots available to low-income families.
  • Identify and/or develop appropriate data indicators for early learning goal and priorities.

Looking for more?

Click here to see the list of Early Development Resources, including our “Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit”!

Action Team Co-Chairs

All individuals and organizations interested in these topics meet quarterly to address community barriers and opportunities. Action Teams are voluntarily-led by experienced community leaders who facilitate, organize, and lead collaboration.

Early Development

Amanda Brunson, Healthy Start of Southwest Florida

Quality Childcare

Michelle Starr, Collier County Public Schools

Brenda Griffin, Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida