Educational Institutions

Orange County School Readiness Coalition, Inc.

  • Orlando, FL
  • www.elcoc.org

Mission Statement

The mission of the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County is to provide unified leadership, support and guidance to ensure that the children of our community have the opportunity to reap the benefits of developmentally appropriate, research-based school readiness and VPK programs, respecting the role of the parent as their child's first teacher.

Main Programs

  1. School Readiness
  2. Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK)
  3. PKZ Baby Institute
  4. Preschool Ambassadors
  5. Infant/Toddler CDA Coaching Program
  6. Early Literacy Enhancement Program (ELEP)
Service Areas

Self-reported

Florida

The Coalition serves all children in Orange County, Florida with special focus on children from birth to age five.

ruling year

2001

Principal Officer since 2007

Self-reported

Ms. Karen Willis

Keywords

Self-reported

ELCOC, ELC, ORANGE COUNTY SCHOOL READINESS, EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING, KINDERGARTEN, EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION, FUTURE LEADERS AND WORKFORCE, BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

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EIN

31-1759186

 Number

8100000327

Also Known As

Early Learning Coalition of Orange County

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Past yearMore than 26,300 Orange County children served by 750 childcare providers.17,981 consultation and referral calls helped parents and care takers with invaluable information about VPK/pre-school options and financial assistance.Childcare assistance was provided to 9,000 low-income, working families through the School Readiness program.The 13th cycle of the Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) Baby Institute classes wrapped adding to the "Circle of Parents" supporting each other in best parenting practices.Volunteers of the Celebrity Readers and Ready Readers programs completed 309 hours of storytelling to children across Orange County.Current yearIncrease the number of providers signed up for the"Quality Stars" program by 10%. (program explained in indicators section under impact)Increase number of professionals receiving their national Infant/Toddler CDA credential by 10% through the ELCOC coaching program.Continue to support parents and families through parenting classes at the PKZ Baby Institute and expand those efforts into other communities, beginning with Holden Heights.Increase awareness of the importance of early learning through the establishment of Social Media Ambassadors and a Speakers BureauIncrease number of volunteers participating in the Celebrity Readers and Ready Readers programs by 10%.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

School Readiness

The School Readiness (SR) program provides access to subsidized early learning services for low wage families. This program fuels the economic engines of our community by enabling parents of more than 8,200 children to afford safe and reliable child care each month. The $35.5M School Readiness budget supports various ELCOC programs. Child Care Resource & Referral staff assist parents with initial applications for child care and general information requests. The staff also provides entry into the Unified Wait List System, wait list maintenance, pre-screening for eligibility for childcare subsidies, pre-registration requests for Voluntary Pre-kindergarten, and updates of those individuals currently waiting for service, as well as customer notification of enrollment, scheduling appointments and other slot management activities as determined by the Coalition. If there is no funding immediately available, parents are advised as to other resources to help subsidize care. All families are offered information on their local community services. The program budget is part of the School Readiness budget (approximately $203K).

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Budget

$35,572,379.00

Program 2

Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK)

Florida's Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program (VPK) is a free educational program that prepares four year-olds for success in kindergarten and beyond. This program, free to families regardless of income, is offered at participating licensed private child care centers, accredited faith based centers, many public school and Head Start sites, as well as licensed family child care homes. The program helps children build a strong foundation using educational materials that fit their developmental needs. VPK provides four year-olds with both self-management and emergent literacy skills, such as letter and sound recognition. These skills are critical for future academic success.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Budget

$27,797,001.00

Program 3

PKZ Baby Institute

The Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) Baby Institute is funded by the ELCOC, the Central Florida Foundation Children's Legacy Fund and the Ounce of Prevention. The PKZ Baby Institute program is for parents of children between the ages of birth to five years residing in the Parramore Heritage community. The nine-week Baby Institute is designed to help parents of young children build knowledge and skills that result in better parenting, which will lead to better school readiness outcomes for children. a. For graduation goals, Baby Institute consistently achieves a 70% + graduation rate for parents who attend at least one class. This is an achievement given the dynamics of the targeted families. b. For parent attendance, Baby Institute consistently achieves its recruitment goal of 15 parents per cycle. Nonetheless numerous make-up sessions are required to get parents to graduation. c. For child attendance ages birth to 5 years of age, Baby Institute attendance by younger children (which is the target audience) is highly dependent on the age of the participating parents. Child participation is also impacted by illness, shared custody responsibilities and parents who have work immediately after Baby Institute. d. For child attendance ages five years and older, as indicated above the age of the children attending Baby Institute is highly impacted by the age of parents. During sessions where parents are older their children generally are older thus impacting the actual age of participating children per cycle. Again, numbers are also impacted by the number of families with younger children participating in Baby Institute.$160K of the $343K budget below is funded from School Readiness.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$343,000.00

Program 4

Preschool Ambassadors

Orlando Cares addresses community challenges - Youth Education and Youth Crime Prevention - by mobilizing caring citizens as volunteers to be part of the solution. In September 2010, Orlando was awarded a Cities of Service Leadership Grant by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies to develop an evidence-based, comprehensive service plan. Through a collaborative process, hundreds of community stakeholders helped to design Orlando Cares and its six service initiatives. The Preschool Ambassadors' volunteer program is a partnership between the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, the City of Orlando, and the Adult Literacy League. The key is the Ready Readers Program, which matches volunteer readers with classrooms for 3 and 4 year-olds in participating early childhood centers and homes.Part of the program's budget amount listed below comes from the School Readiness budget.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Budget

$41,765.00

Program 5

Infant/Toddler CDA Coaching Program

The Infant/Toddler CDA Coaching program offers 80 hours of quality early childhood professional development training, focused on best practices in infant/toddler care, to assist center-based teachers in achieving the national Infant/Toddler Child Development Associate credential. Originally funded through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF), this program has been enormously successful in increasing the quality of care offered to our youngest children in child care. In 2013, a Director Project was added to support directors of child care centers in their understanding of best practices for infant/toddler group care and in 2014, a Community Workshop component was added to support credentialed infant/toddler teachers by providing continuing education unit (CEU) training to enable them to renew their credentials. The project was funded by OMYF from 2012 through 2014. Subsequent funding is anticipated in January 2016. Part of the budget $128K comes from the School Readiness budget.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Budget

$128,000.00

Program 6

Early Literacy Enhancement Program (ELEP)

The Early Literacy Enhancement Program (ELEP) was begun to support motivated Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) providers in Orange County to help their preschool children in strengthening literacy skills. Orange County has a large number of children who are English Language Learners (ELL), or have parents who may have literacy issues themselves. The ELEP provides resources and support to participating VPK teachers to assist children in learning specific literacy skills necessary for kindergarten success. Using the research-based Nemours BrightStart! literacy curriculum, VPK teachers are trained in how to implement the 20 lessons in small intervention groups with children identified as ""at risk"" through Get Ready to Read! (GRTR) screening. Over three years, Get Ready to Read screening conducted as part of the ELEP program has found the percentage of children ""at risk"" with their literacy development to range from an average of 42 - 66% overall in the centers participating, demonstrating the strong community need for this program. Part of the program budget comes from the School Readiness budget.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Other Named Groups

Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Budget

$55,770.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Early Learning Coalition of Orange County's chief goal is to promote school readiness for all children in our community. We provide scholarships to working, low-income families with young children seeking quality early childhood experiences, which promote early brain development and the requisite social/emotional and early academic skills tied to readiness for school. We also provide scholarships for 4 year-olds, regardless of income, to attend Florida's Voluntary Pre-kindergarten program. Research clearly shows that for every 100 children who start school behind, almost 90% are still behind 4 years later. The reason for this lack of readiness is often the 30 Million word gap experienced by children in low wage families compared to those of wealthy families - making these early education scholarships paramount to their future potential and success. The ELCOC also promotes high-quality standards among ealry learning service providers in Central Florida by providing training and technical assistance to improve teacher preparation, which promotes better outcomes for children. Currently, ELCOC funds over 25,000 children annually across 750 small businesses in Orange County. The organization also provides large quantities of books, supplies and manipulatives to enhance the learning environment. The ELCOC partners with non-profit, government, private funders and business leaders to raise required matching funds ($15.67 for every $1 raised locally) and to expand services beyond those afforded by state and federal funding. Our 3 to 5 year strategies include increased fund raising to reduce the current wait list (over 7,000 children), revised messaging to enhance fund and friend raising efforts, and expanded community engagement to place more volunteers into early childhood sites as Ready Readers and Book Buddies. Additional strategies include expanding access to basic early learning teaching credentials as well as supporting attainment of both Associate and Bachelor degrees in early childhood. We also are seeking new sponsors to expand our successful parent engagement strategy (Baby Institute) beyond the historic Parramore area. Baby Institute is modeled after the highly touted Harlem Baby College. And lastly, we are developing strategies to install the Nemours' BrightStart curriculum, Teaching Strategies Gold Early Childhood assessment, and the CLASS teacher/child interaction inventory within every early childhood site serving children from working poor families to close the 30 Million word gap.We believe the infusion of these strategies will promote long term change in the quality of early childhood services in Orange County and lead to higher numbers of our community's children entering school ready for future success.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Because the 30 Million word gap has such impact on school readiness, the ELCOC interfaces and coordinates with Head Start, Early Head Start, Adult Literacy League, Rotary Clubs and other community partners to offer ongoing literacy activities for families with a culmination activity during Literacy Awareness Month. The ELCOC also offers family literacy training and workshops mainly through an ongoing contract with OCPS and recently expanded support to Milk and Muffins and UCF reading camps. Providers who are participating in Early Head Start are required to use Teaching Strategies GOLD for child assessment and CLASS for teacher/child interaction. This requirement goes a long way to institutionalize the importance of these tools to promote program quality. The ELCOC is currently working with Nemours BrightStart to increase the number of early childhood sites implementing this tools to promote language and literacy development. The ELCOC is working with VISTA volunteers to increase the number of Ready Reader volunteers in 3 and 4 year-old classrooms.The ELCOC Security Food Task Force is partnering with Orange County Children Services, Nemours and Second Harvest Food Bank to raise nutrition awareness needs of very young children through our "Five to Thrive" food campaign. Lastly, the ELCOC is working with the Orlando Science Center to infuse math and science concepts into early childhood classrooms.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    We have a dedicated staff of 47 full-time and 10 part-time change agents who are dedicated to improving outcomes for children. Each of our department directors have over 10 years experience in their assigned area. Our CEO has over 35 years of experience in managing publicly funded programs. We have a long history of sound fiscal and program management with a state and federally funded infrastructure that allows us to direct all private and foundation funding to program expansion. Our ability to generate matching funds ($15.67 for every dollar generated locally) allows us to provide a strong Return of Investment (ROI). Our Board of Directors is composed of key community leaders from both the public and private sectors. Their reach is significant into our community. We have strong relationships with community partners who work in supporting fields including Head Start, Early Head Start, Adult Literacy League, Healthy Start and Healthy Families.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    The ELCOC uses the state kindergarten readiness assessment to measure overall success. This assessment is administered by Kindergarten teachers to every child in public kindergarten during the first 30 days of school. The second strategy the ELCOC uses is provider implementation of strategies demonstrated in research to make a difference in outcomes for children. Thus we review the number of providers using a research based child assessment and teacher/child interaction tool. The tools that we endorse are Teaching Strategies GOLD and CLASS. Teaching Strategies GOLD is an assessment tool available to teachers that enables them to increase the effectiveness of their academic assessments, while having more time to engage with their students. The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) is a tool that objectively measures the quality of teacher/child interactions and helps pinpoint strengths and potential areas for growth in early education classrooms.The Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) aka "Quality Stars" is a voluntary quality control system that is available to parents as a guide to help make an informed decision, when choosing quality early learning environments for their child. Participating centers agree to an ongoing evaluation of their program's learning environment, staff qualifications, professional development, family engagement activities and administrative practices using a 5 star rating system.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Since 2011, 188 parents participated and 126 parents have graduated from Baby Institute (BI), with 393 children birth to age five benefitting from their family's commitment to supporting their development. While all cycles of Baby Institute, with both infant and preschool parents, showed gains in knowledge over the course of the program, during the most recent year where data is available, parents of infants showed a 25 point increase in knowledge of appropriate parenting behaviors. Early Childhood providers who have participated in the BrightStart project have seen significant improvements in the language and literacy knowledge of children. Many have seen considerable improvements in their VPK readiness rates with a number moving from low performers to meeting and exceed baseline performance. Unfortunately, our desire to ensure all of the 750 providers in our network are implementing Teaching Strategies GOLD and CLASS has been impacted by legislative change. As such we are now moving the needle forward through incentive strategies. The ELCOC uses its influence and its access to private and foundation dollars to promote quality through incentives to providers willing to implement strategies known to make a difference in outcomes for children.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Florida

The Coalition serves all children in Orange County, Florida with special focus on children from birth to age five.

Funding Needs

Increase number of teachers with infant toddler CDA - 25 teachers and director support = $100,000 Expand (duplicate) Baby Institute beyond the historic Parramore area -- $200,000 .Increase access to BrightStart curriculum - 25 classrooms with kits, materials and literacy coach = $90,000 Increase number of Ready Readers and initiate Book Buddies -- FTE staff position (salary and benefits) = $55,000 Provider Services Support -- 3 FTE staff positions = $165,000 (Training & Technical Specialist to support quality improvement)

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

ORANGE COUNTY SCHOOL READINESS COALITION, INC.
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Orange County School Readiness Coalition, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms. Karen Willis

BIO

Karen Willis serves as Chief Executive Officer for the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County. She has more than 35 years of experience in designing, managing, and administering publicly funded programs. As the Coalition's CEO, Karen is responsible for overseeing the investment of more than $65M in State and Federal funding focused on helping prepare Orange County children for school and providing working poor families with access to high quality childcare for their children. Karen began her service to the children of Orange County in January 2007 after serving as Executive Director of the Seminole County Early Learning Coalition for three and a half years. Prior to that Karen served as: - CEO for Workforce Investments providing One Stop employment services annually to over 30,000 job seekers in Indianapolis, Indiana - Executive Vice President of the Indianapolis Private Industry Council (now commonly known in Florida as CareerSource Boards) - Chief Policy Analyst for the State of Indiana Workforce Agency Karen holds a BA from Valparaiso University, a MPA from Indiana University, and a TQM certificate and Servant Leadership certificate from Indiana University. She is the recipient of the 1994 National Association of Workforce Development Professional's Award for Advancement of the Profession in consideration for her contributions to building One Stop integrated service delivery. In May 2001, Karen was also recognized by the organization as a Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP). In her own words, ""I left an industry I loved because I was tired of seeing young adults enter the workforce without the pre-employment and academic skills needed to compete in a global economy. Early Learning is where it starts.""

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

" We, at the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, are working harder than ever to be an unwavering resource for local families and promoter of future academic success for the children of this community. Investment in early learning programs is essential to eliminating the learning divide that starts before kindergarten and can last for a lifetime. Recognizing that the early education of our youngest citizens is also imperative to our community's vitality and future economic/social growth, we are dedicated to expanding our resources, keeping up with the increasing need for quality early care, and inspiring the leaders of tomorrow - our youth. With such a large impact to be made, we can't do it alone. We are thankful for a proactive board of directors who help foster strategic partnerships, serve on our task forces and assist with special events and programs - all of which help generate additional resources and revenue. These dollars increase the number of children served and elevate the quality of care provided in centers and family child care homes. Our programs are also strongly impacted by community partners, business leaders, corporations, foundations and policymakers everywhere who support, encourage and inspire us. The strongest structures are built on strong foundations. By supporting a child's development early, we are helping to build a strong foundation for their future. Change the first five years and you can change everything! Sincerely, Karen Willis, CWDP Chief Executive Officer"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Linda Landman Gonzalez

Orlando Magic

Term: June 2013 - Apr 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?