About Us

Our Vision

All children will have access to quality early education and care, and enter school ready to learn.

Our Mission

The Coalition will collaborate with parents to integrate a system of services and facilitate quality early education programs that include linkages to all areas of child development.

About the Early Learning

The Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, was established following the enactment of Florida Statute 411.01 and HB 1A that establishes Florida's Office of Early Learning and local early learning coalitions. The Florida Legislature recognized that "school readiness programs increase children's chances of achieving future educational success and becoming productive members of society". The Legislature intends for the local early learning coalitions to establish programs and policies to prepare Florida's youngest citizens for success in school. The Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast operates the School Readiness Program and the Voluntary PreKindergarten Program in Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, and Sumter Counties.

The Coalition has established a Board of Directors representing all five counties served. This Board brings together the primary agencies in our area that work with children, including the Department of Children and Families, the local school boards, Head Start programs, the Workforce Board, the Board of County Commissioners, the local community college, child care provider representatives, and the private business sector.

The Board of Directors is responsible for:

  • Developing a plan for implementing the School Readiness and Voluntary
  • PreKindergarten Programs in accordance with applicable guidelines
  • Providing School Readiness programs on a full-day, year-round basis to the maximum extent possible
  • Providing a single point of entry and a unified waiting list
  • Establishing a sliding fee scale for the School Readiness services
  • Establishing reimbursement rates for School Readiness providers
  • Providing direct enhancement services to families and children in the School Readiness Program
  • Developing strategies to meet the needs of unique populations
  • Establishing specific eligibility priorities, in accordance with applicable guidelines

The Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast contracts with local child care providers to offer quality early learning programs that include:

  • Research-based early learning activities and instruction
  • Developmentally appropriate curriculum to meet the Florida Early Learning Standards
  • Literacy programs
  • Character development programs
  • Individual learning plans for children needing specific interventions
  • Healthy, safe learning environments
  • Appropriate staff-to-child ratios
  • Personnel with required qualifications and background screening clearance
  • Family-friendly environments that support parent involvement opportunities
  • Services for children age birth through age twelve
Crystal River Office
Chiefland Office
Sumterville Office
382 N Suncoast Blvd. 117 NE 1st St. 617 S US Hwy. 301, Suite E
Crystal River, FL 34429 Chiefland, FL 32626 Sumterville, FL 33585
(352) 563-9939 (352) 490-5855 (352) 793-5430
(352) 563-5933 fax (352) 490-6762 fax (352) 793-6230 fax
(877) 336-5437 toll free (877) 840-5437 toll free
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm