ELC a key lifeline for Big Bend families

Logo courtesy Early Learning Coalition

Many families struggle with paying for child-care expenses, one of the biggest items in families’ monthly budgets. It is often higher than the cost of housing, college tuition, transportation or food. Families in Leon County and across the Big Bend region struggle daily trying to find quality child care that is affordable.

The Early Learning Coalition, which began operations in 2001, strives to provide a holistic service delivery system that is responsive to the needs of low-income families by providing child care tuition assistance through its School Readiness program.

There are two primary goals for the ELC: making sure children are ready for success when they enter school, and helping families to have access to quality child care services and assistance they need for their child’s educational development.

ELC Chief Executive Officer Lizbeth Murphy, an enthusiastic professional with more than 13 years of progressive leadership experience in the early learning field, said that she is passionate about helping lead the early development of each child in Leon County and the surrounding Big Bend community.

“I consider it an honor to be able to serve in this role,” Murphy said. “Providing leadership and advocacy that builds a community where all children are prepared for success in school is what I am most passionate about. Working diligently to create safe and quality early learning experiences for the children of the Big Bend region is a commitment that the talented staff of ELC, our board of directors, community partners, and I will work tirelessly to achieve. I feel certain that we will get there, one child at a time.”

FAMU student Kayla Moore, a single mother who studies business, said she is so happy to have found out about the ELC through a close friend.

“Child care is so expensive these days, and I’m so happy I found a program like ELC to satisfy my needs,” Moore said. “This program has so much to offer individuals who need extra funding, like myself. I am beyond grateful.”
ELC determines eligibility partly on purpose for care like working, attending school, household income and number of people in the household.

Located at 2639 North Monroe St., near The Centre of Tallahassee [formerly known as Tallahassee Mall], the Early Learning Coalition is designed to assist families who need funding.

The local office is temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19, but they are still here to happily serve the community by email and phone.

Email ccrr@elcbigbend.org or call (850) 385-0504.

To see if you are eligible for the program, access Florida’s Early Learning Coalition Family Portal on their website at https://www.elcbigbend.org.