The Florida Center for Early Childhood Inc
4620 17TH St
Sarasota FL 34235-1843
Building Strong Families...One Child at a Time. The Florida Center for Early Childhood is a nationally accredited nonprofit organization providing an array of comprehensive therapeutic services, clinical interventions, prevention and early education programming to help children birth through 8 years old overcome obstacles and succeed.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kathryn Shea LCSW
Board Chair Mr. Larry Lawman
Board Chair Affiliation Lawman Benefits Consulting, Inc.
General Info
Organization DBA
Supported Organization
Former Names
The Florida Center for Child and Family Development
Family Counseling Center, Inc.
Child Development Center, Inc.
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1979
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Dec 2016
State Registration Exempt Sept 2018
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $5,460,791.00
Projected Expenses $5,460,791.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement
The Florida Center for Early Childhood provides prevention and early intervention services to young children and their families at risk for academic, social and economic failure.
These critical services help young children achieve developmentally appropriate milestones and parents have the support and knowledge to nurture their child’s development; thus decreasing risk factors related to child abuse and neglect, academic and developmental delay, and behavioral and mental health disorders that create added costs to society.

Needs Statement
1.) Preschool Sponsors: Funding is needed to maintain high quality playground equipment, curriculum materials and supplies to provide excellent early childhood education. Sponsors at all levels, from $100-$10,000, will support the healthy development of young children at the Starfish Academy.
2.) Occupational & Speech Therapy Scholarships: Developmental therapies are vital supports for children experiencing delays and difficulties. Current reimbursement rates from insurance, Medicaid and contracts do not cover the full cost of intensive services children need to succeed. Financial support from the community will ensure children at risk for academic, social and economic failure get these critical supports. Cost $3,000 per child for 6 months.
3.) Funding Behavioral & Mental Health Supports: Increasingly, children under age 5 are demonstrating moderate to severe behavior and mental health problems. The intensive therapeutic services provided to children at risk for academic, social and economic failure will reduce their risk and increase their potential to grow and thrive in our community. Cost $2,500 per child for 6 months.
4.) Supplies to support the basic safety needs of families enrolled in Healthy Families, child abuse prevention program including: diapers, new car seats, safety gates and other items for children under age 3. Cost $200 per family.
Background Statement
The Florida Center for Early Childhood has been serving our community’s young children and families since 1979. The Florida Center is a multi-service center for infants and young children with or at risk for developmental delay due to physical, emotional, and/or economic hardship. We have two locations in Sarasota County; one in north Sarasota and one in North Port (south Sarasota). We serve over 4,000 children and their families annually through a variety of services including, early intervention (preschool/V.P.K. classrooms, developmental therapies, community outreach), Clinical Services (Infant/Young Child Mental Health and Fetal Alcohol Diagnostic/Intervention Clinic), and our Healthy Families program, an evidence-based child abuse prevention program. Services are provided in Sarasota, Charlotte, Hardee, and DeSoto counties. We are nationally accredited by the Council On Accreditation (COA).

We advance our mission of
… “Building strong families…one child at a time!”

And seek to… “Prevent child abuse, prepare children for success in school, enhance their social/emotional development and healthy parent/child relationships.”

By serving... “Vulnerable young children and their families.”

In... “Sarasota and surrounding counties.”

Through… “Quality early childhood promotion, prevention, and intervention services.”

And emphasizing our competitive advantage of… “a long standing, wide range of early childhood expertise and well established reputation.

We are sustainable by… “diversified fund development that include government funds and private donations.”

We envision at time when… “Every child is loved, nurtured, and empowered to reach their fullest potential.”

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
FL- Manatee
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Mental Health & Crisis Intervention
Children, Early Childhood, Child development, families, Parenting, Therapy, kids, Mental Health
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
"We need your help to be sure every child has the opportunity to have a successful early childhood.  These economic times have negatively impacted our families and smallest children.  We believe hard times can bring out the best in people and provide them an opportunity to help those who are less fortunate than themselves.  I ask you to open your hearts and make a special effort to assist children and their families.  I assure you, it is an investment that will last through many generations to come."
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
President & CEO, Kathryn Shea, LCSW states: "Almost daily, new research is presented on the wisdom of investing early.  A recently released brief from the Partnership for American's Economic Success shows that an investment of $6,692 in quality Pre Kindergarten for disadvantaged children yielded a lifetime societal return of up to $67,937; a return on investment of great than 10:1. This research supports the importance of reaching children at a young age. We can positively impact the course of history for one child, and we can change the course of history for our communities and nation."

“Early Intervention Services” at The Florida Center constitutes three programs that include The Starfish Academy: Early Childhood Education, Community Outreach and Developmental Therapy. These programs provide a unique blend of evaluation, intervention and support services to children ages birth through age 8, while supporting their families and community care providers in meeting their individual needs. Each program provides a comprehensive, family centered team approach to learning that enables us to help children achieve their highest potential using best practice, expertise, patience, and sensitivity.

Children often come to our centers who have or are “at risk” for developmental delay, including behavioral challenges and/or established conditions such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, etc. We provide services at two locations in Sarasota and North Port and in the community in family homes and other community based agencies. Our professional staff includes teachers, teacher assistants, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavior specialists.   

The Starfish Academy: Early Childhood Education Program serves children 18 months - 5 years. It is an inclusion program that allows both typically developing children and children with special needs to participate in classroom activities that promote growth and development in areas of cognitive, language, motor, language, self-help and social-emotional skills.  The Developmental Therapy Program staff of licensed Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists provide therapy for young children birth through age 8.  In addition to traditional therapy, sensory integration therapy, therapeutic listening, feeding therapy and augmentative technology support and interventions are provided.

Budget $1,325,737
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success
  • 90% of parents/caregivers will engage in their child’s classroom or therapy activities.
  • 90% of participants indicate that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the services provided by the program.
  •  90% of children enrolled in The Starfish Academy will demonstrate improvement in two or more identified areas of need following assessment by teacher, therapists or early interventionist.
  • 95% of parents, teachers, and/or early care providers will increase their knowledge after receiving training on child development topics enabling them to identify or work with children with special needs.
Long Term Success
  • Children will exhibit progress toward age appropriate cognitive, communication, motor, social/emotional and self-help developmental domains.
  • Families will be involved in their child’s care and education.
  • Children will require less special education services.
  • Parents/caregivers will indicate that they are satisfied with their child’s educational services.


Program Success Monitoring

Children participating in our education program are assessed to determine their individual needs using curriculum and other standardized assessment tools. Current evidence-based tools, to name a few, include Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3, ASQ-SE), Opening the World of Learning (OWL) Curriculum, MindUP Curriculum, Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) and the Growing Healthy Kids nutritional program. Assessment results provide guidance to our early childhood educators, parents and therapist in developing, implementing and supporting creative and stimulating classroom activities. It provides excellent baseline information for monitoring progress toward learning outcomes.

Children enrolled in developmental therapy receive initial and annual assessments using standardized evaluation tools, clinical observations and parent/caregiver input. Staff work with families and teachers to develop pertinent goals to support growth in identified areas of need and monitors progress on a quarterly basis.

Children receiving behavior support receive an initial assessment using the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) with targeted educational goals to follow that help guide the teacher in meeting the needs of the child.

Program Success Examples
Devon spent just one day at a local childcare center before his mother got a phone call from the director suggesting that he be brought to The Florida Center. “We knew Devon was a bit different, but until then we didn’t think anything of it.” Through the professional
guidance of The Florida Center’s multi-disciplinary team Devon was evaluated and received occupational therapy to address his sensory processing challenges. “Devon is still different, in a good way, and is starting to show signs of typical behavior. We are thrilled with our experience at The Florida Center. Without the services and supports of
The Florida Center,Devon may never have gotten the help he needed to be ready for kindergarten.” –Devon's mom

Healthy Families Sarasota is a nationally accredited, community-based, voluntary home visiting program proven to prevent child abuse and neglect. Trained paraprofessional family support workers provide information, guidance, and emotional and practical support to families in their homes. Healthy Families Sarasota initiates services during pregnancy or shortly after the birth of the baby. Services are provided for up to five years, with intensity and duration based on the needs of the family. At a minimum, weekly home visits occur for six months following the child’s birth. During services, family support workers educate parents about child health, safety and development, teach problem-solving skills, conduct screening for developmental delays, model positive parent-child interaction, provide social support, connect parents and children to a medical home, and make referrals to other support services as needed. 

Budget $2,067,661
Category Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations Families Infants to Preschool (under age 5)
Short Term Success

An independent five year comparison of Healthy Families Florida (HFF) released in 2005 concluded that HFF has a significant impact on preventing child abuse and neglect. HFF participants had 20% less child abuse and neglect than all families in their target service area, in spite of the fact that participants are at significantly higher risk for abuse or neglect than the overall population. Children whose families did not receive Healthy Families services were nearly four times more likely to suffer maltreatment before their second birthday than children in families who completed the program. In Sarasota, of 675 children who participated in services last year, 96% had no verified findings of child maltreatment during services. Of 68 children of families who successfully completed the program during this period, 99% had no findings of maltreatment within twelve months following completion.

Long Term Success

An independent five year comparison of Healthy Families Florida (HFF) released in 2005 concluded that HFF has a significant impact on preventing child abuse and neglect. HFF participants had 20% less child abuse and neglect than all families in their target service area, in spite of the fact that participants are at significantly higher risk for abuse or neglect than the overall population. Children whose families did not receive Healthy Families services were nearly four times more likely to suffer maltreatment before their second birthday than children in families who completed the program. In Sarasota, of 675 children who participated in services last year, 96% had no verified findings of child maltreatment during services. Of 68 children of families who successfully completed the program during this period, 99% had no findings of maltreatment within twelve months following completion.

Program Success Monitoring
Outcomes show 97-100% of children in families who complete the program in Sarasota, DeSotoa/Hardee and Charlotte counties have no verified findings of child maltreatment within 12 months of completion.
97% of children in families participating in services for at least 6 months have no verified findings of child maltreatment during participation.
100% of children in the program are fully immunized by age 2.
93-100% of participants improve or maintain self-sufficiency while enrolled.
Program Success Examples

Alyssa was eight months pregnant and in an abusive marriage for four years. She did not know how to get out. She had not graduated from high school and had no idea how she could support a new baby without a good paying job.  She was scared and felt alone.

Then, she was introduced to Healthy Families Sarasota.  Her Family Support Worker provided Alyssa with the help she needed to gain the confidence to break away from years of abuse.  She found the strength to make decisions that were in the best interest of her new baby girl.  Alyssa and her daughter are safe, healthy and happy!  She is working on her GED and was recently promoted at work.  Her daughter is enrolled in preschool to get ready for kindergarten and beyond.
Our mental health therapists are trained to meet the unique developmental needs of the infant and young child.  Our treatment interventions are individualized for each child and family using Evidence Based Practices.
The Fussy Baby  Network is an additional resource for families struggling to care for a baby having difficulty with sleeping, feeding or soothing.
Budget $667,643
Category Human Services, General/Other Parenting Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Children Only (5 - 14 years) Families
Short Term Success
  • 90% of participants will indicate that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the services provided.
  • 80% of children will demonstrate increased self-confidence.
  • 80% of parents will demonstrate increased confidence in effective parenting.
Long Term Success Our goal is for young children to thrive in every aspect their lives (emotionally, developmentally, behaviorally, and cognitively) all within the context of an attuned and nurturing primary care-giving relationship.
Program Success Monitoring
  • Satisfaction surveys will be completed on a quarterly basis
  • The Parent/Child Relationships Scale will be administered at intake and upon termination of services.
Program Success Examples
Cam’ron and his family had recently moved to the area. Before long, Cam’ron began to experience serious difficulties in school and at home. Cam’ron’s mother described her son as “upset and depressed” and said she didn’t know how to help him. She had read a lot of parenting books but nothing was working. “Luckily, Cam’ron’s pediatrician referred us to The Florida Center. He promised us it was ‘a good place’ so we began working with a therapist right away.” After learning different skills to calm Cam’ron, he showed great improvement. His mother said that having a coach to help her understand her emotions and what her child was going through made a difference. “Everything got a lot better at home and at school,” she said. Today, Cam’ron’s family is growing and learning together. His mother says that Cam’ron even coaches his two younger siblings by reminding them to “slow down and breathe.” His mother feels empowered and is using everything she has learned to help Cam’ron and his younger siblings, as well.
“I thank The Florida Center greatly for the help we’ve received. It’s something I can take with me for a lifetime.” – Cam’ron’s mom

The purpose of The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic is to diagnose disorders resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure, offer assistance through therapeutic interventions, and to continue to identify at-risk mothers. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most severe of these disorders. Each year in the United States between 35,000 and 40,000 babies are born with a disorder related to prenatal exposure to alcohol.

Budget $329,140
Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations General/Unspecified General/Unspecified
Short Term Success

  • 100% of children evaluated for FASD are accurately diagnosed;
  • 85% of children with FASD are referred and connected to appropriate services within two months of evaluation;
  • 80% of children improve their ability to function in their home and school settings;
  • 80% of parents report a better understanding of their child’s behavior since initiating intervention services; and
  •  90% of participants indicate that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the services provided by the program.

In addition, the clinic will increase awareness of FASD throughout the state of Florida through training and awareness activities.
Long Term Success

Our goal is to prevent, identify and diagnose individuals of all ages with known or suspected prenatal alcohol exposure and help families raising children with an FASD better understand their child’s unique brain difference.


Program Success Monitoring
A FASD Clinic Evaluation follow up survey is administered to each guardian within 3 months of the initial evaluation.  The survey asks guardians to report on their experience at the time of the evaluation as well as the implementation of suggested interventions including: diagnosis, connections to appropriate services, ability to function in their home and school settings, understanding of their child’s behavior, and satisfaction.
In addition, the clinic monitors prevention activities through the number of people trained and tracks public awareness campaign throughout the state.

Program Success Examples
  • 60 clients evaluated July 2013-March 2014 and on target to complete 90 evaluations by June 2014
  • 89% of all completed evaluations 2013-2014 have resulted in a FAS/FASD diagnosis
  • 21% diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • 68% diagnosed with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • 11% were not diagnosed with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • 160,000 FASD prevention and information rack cards designed and distributed to Florida clinicians, doctors and agencies
  • FASD Clinic Evaluation Follow-up Survey distributed to 36 families with a 41% response rate
  • Completed nearly 600 FASD evaluations since 2005 and serving 52% of Florida’s counties
Program Comments by Organization Messages of economic recovery are optimistic, yet we continue to witness many young children and their families in economic and social crisis, fewer resources and strain on nonprofits to serve more with less.  As nonprofit organizations, we are all striving to be more collaborative, and we are proud to say our community partnerships have never been better.  We remain on the cutting edge in the state and nation for providing the highest quality, evidence-based services to young children and their families.   Our Healthy Families program, now serving four counties, has received state recognition for four consecutive years by providing quality services to the most high-risk families in our communities.  In addition, our expertise in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders continues to be a source of national recognition.  We are grateful to our Community Foundations, donors, partners and the families we serve.  Together, we can, and WILL, "Build Strong Families ... One Child at a Time."
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kathryn Shea LCSW
CEO Term Start 2008
CEO/Executive Director Email
Experience Kathryn is currently the President & CEO of The Florida Center for Early Childhood, Inc.dedicated to the healthy development of young children, their families, and communities. Kathryn is a licensed clinical social worker with over 35 years of experience working with young children with serious emotional and behavioral disorders, fetal alcohol and drug effects, and early childhood special education needs. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky. Kathryn is a national trainer in infant and early childhood mental health and responsive early childhood preschool environments. She currently chairs the Community Alliance of Sarasota County, is past president of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health, and is the recipient of many awards recognizing her advocacy on behalf of children with special needs.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ms. Sandra Adams June 1979 -
Mr. Peter D Howard LCSW 1997 - Aug 2008
Senior Staff
Ms. Debbie Keyso Vice President of Healthy Families Services
Ms. Charmian Miller Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Michelle Moreno MPAVice President of Marketing and Communications
Ms. Stacy Pinkerton Chief Development Officer
Dr. Kristie Skoglund Ed.D, LMHCVice President of Clinical Services
Ms. Kim Williams M.S., CCC-SLPProgram Director of Developmental Therapies
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 78
Part Time Staff 14
Staff Retention Rate % 92
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 4
Volunteers 55
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
The Florida Center for Early Childhood values its community partnerships and collaborations with respective child care organizations, corporations and foundations.  Key collaborations exist with various local organizations including but not limited to Jewish Family and Children Services, Children First, The Safe Children Coalition, Gulf Central Early Steps, the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota and Sarasota County School Board. 
United Way Member Agency2015
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)2015
Florida Association of Infant Mental Health2015
Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce2015
Venice Area Chamber of Commerce2015
North Port Chamber of Commerce2015
External Assessments and Accreditations
Council on Accreditation (COA) [for Children and Family Services] - Accreditation2013
Awards & Recognition
Non-profit of the year FinalistTampa Bay Business Journal2014
Risk Management Provisions
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government Yes
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 4
Strategic Plan Adopted July 2014
Management Succession Plan Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization The Florida Center has a strong Executive Leadership Team of highly qualified and experienced individuals.  We meet monthly assuring continued high quality services with an emphasis on results.
Management Comments by Foundation
Planning & Policies Comments by Organization
Planning & Policies Comments by Foundation
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Larry Lawman
Company Affiliation Lawman Benefits Consulting, Inc.
Board Term July 2016 to June 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. William Ames Clear Channel Media
Ms. Anne Bouhebent Early Learning Coalition of Charlotte Co.
Mrs. Melissa Dunlap Community Volunteer
The Honorable Doug Holder Former Representative
Mr. Larry Lawman Lawman Consultation
Ms. Amber Slayton Attorney
Ms. Carole Storch Retired School Administrator
Ms. Sonja Veal-Volino Northern Trust
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 3
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 80
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization Our Governance Committee is actively engaged in Board development and retention activities to increase community engagement and support.

Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $5,460,791.00
Projected Expenses $5,460,791.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations
Endowment Value $612,467.00
Endowment Spending Policy
Endowment Spending Policy %
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years?
IRS Form 990s
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,790,554$3,087,238$2,738,775
Individual Contributions$647,873$272,855$158,017
Investment Income, Net of Losses$100,253$764$35,601
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$59,414$65,992$36,473
Revenue In-Kind$782,670$6,544,750$689,349
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$4,044,307$4,189,672$3,402,041
Administration Expense$167,941$154,504$673,801
Fundraising Expense$172,474$104,106$176,789
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.010.960.92
Program Expense/Total Expenses92%94%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue5%3%6%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$1,875,352$2,033,477$1,962,925
Current Assets$1,665,845$1,922,093$1,832,210
Long-Term Liabilities$100,000$200,000$0
Current Liabilities$307,514$370,271$427,324
Total Net Assets$1,467,838$1,463,206$1,535,601
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Federal & State $1,929,000Government Grants - Federal $1,649,000Government Grants - Federal $1,436,800
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Local $861,554Government Grants - Local $779,315Government Grants - Local $1,021,975
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $647,873Government Grants - State $658,923Client Payments $321,875
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $100,001 - $125,000
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.425.194.29
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets5%10%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures taken from IRS Form 990 and audit documents. 990s and audits reconcile. Individual contributions include foundation & corporate support, as reported in 990.
Nonprofit The Florida Center for Early Childhood Inc
Address 4620 17TH St
Sarasota, FL 342351843
Phone 941 371-8820 1025