Early Childhood Programs

  • Our Mission

    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 Head Start - Head Start

    The Early Childhood Programs consist of Early Head Start and Head Start, birth to five programs for disadvantage young children. Our Early Head Start program serves infants to 3 year olds, at the Baker Center in Punta Gorda and HOPE Center in Port Charlotte. Four-year-old Head Start classrooms are located in most of the elementary schools.

    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

    Application Information

    Applications are accepted year round.

    All placements are based on the child's age as of September 1 and income eligibility.
    Early Head Start and Head Start/VPK are both Income-Eligible.
    To process an application you must bring:

    • Child's Birth Certificate
    • Proof of total household income (1040 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.

Baker Center: Main Administrative ECP Office

  • 311 East Charlotte Ave
    Punta Gorda, FL 33950
    Fax: 941-575-5474

    Program Director: Nicole Hansen
    Program Manager: Karen James