Federal Programs in Charlotte County
Early Childhood Programs
311 East Charlotte Ave
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Principal: Maureen Watts
Program Manager: Debi Deryk
Family Services Coordinator: Karen James
Disabilities Coordinator: Cleo Presley
Community Health Advocate: NOreen Freeman
Resource Teachers: Jeanine Lalli & Natalie Orobello
Early Head Start - Head Start - VPK
The Early Childhood Programs consist of Early Head Start and Head Start. Our Early Head Start program serves infants to 3 years old, which is housed at the Baker Center in Punta Gorda. Head Start serves three and four-year-old classrooms served at the Baker Center and four-year-old Head Start/Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten classrooms at most elementary schools. The Baker Center also has three Pre K ESE classrooms and one Pre K Inclusion class.
- First Funded in 1965
- All classrooms are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
- Program of Excellence- one of 25 programs in the country
- All Early Head Start classes are also licensed by the Department of Children & Families
- We oversee Even Start- a family literacy program
- We offer the 300-hour summer VPK Program
- High Scope and Anti-Bias Curriculum used
- Each family has a Family Service Worker to help them set and reach family goals
- The ratio in Head Start classrooms is 1-7 for three year olds and 1-9 for four year olds
- The ratio in Early Head Start (9 weeks-2 year olds) is always 1-4
- All children receive two thirds of their daily nutritional needs in the Program with breakfast, lunch, and a snack daily.
- Ten percent of our funded enrollment are children with disabilities.
- A Mental Health Consultant and a Fatherhood Consultant provide regular services to our families.
All children in our Head Start program receive an initial dental screening with a dentist at their school site. Afterwards, children are transported by bus to the dentist office for a follow-up cleaning and treatments.
The mission of the Early Childhood Programs is to provide children and their families with opportunities to build a foundation for success through quality, comprehensive, community and school based early childhood programs.
Early Childhood Program Beliefs
Comprehensive services are necessary for quality
Families are the primary teachers of children
Everyone deserves to be respected, supported
and empowered in his or her roles
Excellence requires community commitment & partnership
Advocacy is a shared responsibility
Applications are now being accepted for the 2010-2011 school year.
All placements are based on the child's age as of September 1, 2010.
- Children age 4 attend Baker Center and area Elementary Schools
- All children birth to age 3 attend Baker Center only
Early Head Start and Head Start are BOTH Income-Eligible
TO PROCESS AN APPLICATION YOU MUST BRING:
- Child's Birth Certificate
- Proof of total household income (copies of pay stubs, 1040 2009 Tax Form, child support, TANIF/SS benefit statements)
- Proof of Charlotte County residency (utility bills, lease agreement, vehicle registration)
If child is receiving Speech, Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy, please bring documentation.
Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center
Early Learning Coalition of Floridaâ€™s Heartland, Inc
Florida Department of Children and Families
National Center for Learning Disabilities
The Florida Head Start Association