Early Development

Early Learning Kids Playing | Future Ready Collier - Naples, Florida

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.

Next, as a community we will work through Future Ready Collier to build a framework that supports school readiness, which is the foundation for all future success.

Goal: Getting all children ready for Kindergarten

The Early Development Goal Group is 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.

The following organizations are working to ensure all children are Kindergarten ready:

Books for Collier Kids
Boys & Girls Club of Collier County
Champions For Learning
Child’s Path
Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County
Collier County Health Department
Collier County Public Libraries
Collier County Public Schools
Collier County Sheriff’s Office
Community Foundation of Collier County
David Lawrence Centers
Early Learning Coalition of SWFL
Early Steps of SWFL
Florida Department of Health in Collier
Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resource System (FDLRS)
Florida SouthWestern State College
Friends of Foster Children Forever
Fun Time Early Childhood Academy
Gargiulo Education Center
Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc.
Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida
Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’MON)
Grace Place for Children & Families
Greater Naples YMCA
Guadalupe Center
Habitat for Humanity of Collier County
Healthcare Network of SWFL
Healthy Start Coalition of SWFL
Kids Minds Matter
Lighthouse Pediatrics
Literacy Volunteers of Collier County
Naples Children & Education Foundation
Naples Shelter
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Collier County (NAMI)
NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition
New Horizons of SWFL
Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee
Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA)
Southwest Florida Music Education Center
The Able Academy
The Children’s Movement of Florida
The Shelter for Abused Women and Children
United Way of Collier and the Keys
YMCA of South Collier
Youth Haven