Children First Inc
1723 N Orange Ave
Sarasota FL 34234
Mission
Strengthening children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health and well-being.  
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Philip Tavill
Board Chair Lacy Ray Jr.
Board Chair Affiliation Retired Municipal
General Info
Organization DBA
DBA
Supported Organization
Former Names
Sarasota Day Nursery
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1961
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Mar 2017
State Registration Yes 0
IRS Letter of Determination
View
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $8,024,669.00
Projected Expenses $8,024,669.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement

Children First provides early education and comprehensive services to low-income children, birth to five, and their families. Children First enables them to achieve academic and social competence, and to ameliorate issues that could interfere with learning so that they will be ready for Kindergarten.

  • In 2011, Children First became the first GREEN preschool in Florida
  • In August 2012 Children First opened a new Venice site to serve more children & families in south Sarasota County
  • Provided services for over 600 children and families across 13 sites in Sarasota County.
  • Children First is a Program of Excellence and in the top tier of all Head Start programs nationally.
  • Kindergarten readiness rate is between 90-95%. 
Needs Statement

Scholarships: The average cost of a child to attend Children First for a year is $10,000. Federal funding covers a portion of that cost, but we must raise $2,465 for each child to have a safe place to learn. With over 600 children served annually and a waiting list of over 300, our scholarship needs are upwards of $1,163,000.

Nutrition:  Children First provides 50% of a child's daily nutrition. 
 Breakfast for each Children First Site $1,000 each
Afternoon snacks for each Children First Site $500 each
 
Families First Institute Classes:  Classes at $4,800 each including:
  • (3) Positive Behavior Solutions
  • (1) Positive Behavior Solutions in Spanish
  • (1) 5 Keys to better behavior classes.
  • (3) ESOL Classes (Winter, Spring & Fall Classes)
  • (6) Boot Camp for New Dads 
A/C Units
2 Units @ Helen R. Payne Annex $12,000 total
1 Unit @ Oak Street $7,000
3 Units @ Orange Ave $18,000
5 Units @ Venice $30,000 
 
Playground Equipment/Repairs/Maintenance
Tricycles for each Children First Site $250 each
Orange Ave Surfacing Repairs on Head Start Playground $10,000
North Port Surface Repairs on both Playgrounds $15,000
Background Statement

Children First is a private, charitable, non-profit organization that serves over 600 of Sarasota County’s most vulnerable children, birth to five years of age, and their families. The children that we serve come from very low-income homes and our programs are designed to reduce or minimize the effects of poverty. We provide children with what they deserve – a safe place to learn, nutritious meals, and a nurturing environment.

Children First was founded in 1961, originally called Sarasota Day Nursery, by the Sarasota Junior League. We began providing Head Start services in 1994, and Early Head Start services in 1998. In 2000, we changed our name to Children First. We have 13 sites, including many community partnerships. Children First is in the top tier of all Head Start programs and honored a Program of Excellence, a designation that only 10 out of 1,800 programs nationally have achieved.  
Areas Served
Areas Served
Area
FL
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type
Keywords
Children First, Head Start, Sarasota Day Nursery, Child care, low-income families, VPK
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

In my five years serving on the Board of Directors at Children First I have had the opportunity to get to know many of the children and families we serve and the staff that works with them. The one word that comes to mind to describe all of them is "joyful." Walk into any one of Children First's 13 sites and you will find children playing, reading, or singing. You will also find parents reaching educational and career milestones. Alongside all of them - children and parents - you will find the staff celebrating their accomplishments.

Many of these children and families face an array of challenges. Almost all of our families live in poverty, some suffer homelessness, and many speak English as a second language. But Children First is here for them to lessen the burden of these challenges. Not only does Children First provide quality early childhood education and family strengthening services, they provide hope.

During my involvement with Children First I have seen children go off to Kindergarten ready for success, families move out of poverty, and worlds of opportunity open to both because of the work of Children First. It is with our community's dedication to these children and families that these great things continue to happen.

It is a privilege to be the Board Chair of Children First, a three-time consecutive Head Start Program of Excellence. I invite you to join me in supporting these children and families. You can help provide them with joy, hope, and opportunity.

Lacy Ray Jr.
Board Chair

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
 Dear Friends,
 
At Children First we are all about family.

We know, after over 55 years, that strong children come from strong families. Through the support of our community and donors like you our teachers and Family Advocates work alongside our children and families to help them reach their full potential.

While children are learning how to count, their parents are learning how to write a resume. While children are getting the nutrition they need to grow, their parents are getting the tools they need to get their GED or enroll in college. While children are exploring all of the possibilities their future holds, so are their parents.
 
It is only through the commitment of our donors that we can continue to provide our community’s most vulnerable children and families with the opportunities they need to succeed. When you support Children First, you become part of our family.
 
With deep gratitude,

Philip Tavill
President & CEO

Programs
Description
Head Start meets the comprehensive needs of at risk families throughout Sarasota County who have children three to five years of age. The families served live below the federal poverty level (e.g. family of three - gross annual income under $19,500.) Children living in foster homes and families on public assistance are eligible as are children with disabilities, irrespective of family income. We have an 9:1 child to teacher ratio. 
 
Early Head Start focuses on the comprehensive needs of expectant families and children birth to three years of age, whose families live below the federal poverty level. We have a 4:1 child to teacher ratio. 
Budget $5,399,988
Category Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) At-Risk Populations Families
Short Term Success

Our Head Start programs operates 180 days a year for over 300 children, ages 3-5 years of age. Children receive developmental, hearing, vision and social/emotional screenings within 45 days of enrollment and a dental exam within 90 days of enrollment. Referral for needed follow up support is provided to the child and family as indicated. Children participate in a comprehensive curriculum and are assessed three times a year to ensure their school readiness skills are on target for Kindergarten success. We maintain a <10:1 child to highly qualified teacher ratio in each classroom. Typically 90% of our children are kindergarten-ready based on this assessment.

Our Early Head Start (EHS) programs operates 180 days a year for over 200 children, ages birth to 3 years of age, including expectant families. As with our Head Start program, children receive developmental, hearing, vision and social/emotional screenings within 45 days of enrollment and a dental (oral) screening within 90 days of enrollment. Referral for needed follow up support is provided to the child and family as indicated. Children participate in a comprehensive curriculum and are assessed three times a year to ensure their development and school readiness skills are on target. All EHS classrooms have a maximum of 8 children lead by 2 Infant-toddler Specialists for a 4:1 ratio. Typically 90% of our children are deemed developmentally on target at the end of the program year based on this assessment.

Program Long-Term
Long Term Success

Our ultimate goal at Children First is Kindergarten Readiness. We provide comprehensive early childhood education for at-risk children living in poverty, as well as family services. Our program helps to eliminate the effects of poverty through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health and well-being.

Program Success Monitoring

Each child’s individual program is based on the results of information obtained through screenings, assessments, staff observations and parental input. Each child is assessed 3 times a year using the Teaching Strategies Gold assessment tool, which aligns with the Florida Developmental Learning Standards and the Creative Curriculum, our curriculum of choice. Teachers create individual lesson plans for each child to address areas of need and improvement. Plans are reviewed with the parents to ensure progress and satisfaction. Parents are given opportunities to set school readiness goals for their child based on screenings and are provided frequent feedback on their child’s activities and progress. Parents participate in 2 home visits and 2 parent conferences each year which allows for relationship building and open two-way communication about their child’s progress.


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Program Success Examples In the 2010-2011 school year, we had a successful Kindergarten Readiness rate of 92%. Children First was also again recently designated as a Program of Excellence and in the top 1% of all Head Start Programs nationally. 
Description

Our Early Childhood Education program focuses on the comprehensive needs of children birth to five years of age, whose families live at, or slightly above the federal poverty level. Although these families do not qualify for Head Start or Early Head Start, they are considered “working poor” and most are eligible for state subsidized child-care. Every child we serve at Children First receives equal care. 

Budget $1,371,356
Category Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) At-Risk Populations Families
Short Term Success

Our Early Childhood Education program operates 180 days a year for children birth-5 years of age. We have a Kindergarten Readiness success rate of 90-95%. 100% of all children receive medical, hearing, vision and dental screenings within 45 days of enrollment. 

Long Term Success

Our ultimate goal at Children First is Kindergarten Readiness. We provide comprehensive early childhood education for at-risk children living in poverty, as well as family services. Our program helps to eliminate the effects of poverty through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health and well-being. 


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Program Success Monitoring

Each child’s individual program is based on the results of information obtained through screenings, assessments, staff observations and parental input. Each child is assessed 3 times a year using the Teaching Strategies Gold assessment tool, which aligns with the Florida Developmental Learning Standards and the Creative Curriculum, our curriculum of choice. Teachers create individual lesson plans for each child to address areas of need and improvement. Plans are reviewed with the parents to ensure progress and satisfaction. Parents are given opportunities to set school readiness goals for their child based on screenings and are provided frequent feedback on their child’s activities and progress. Parents participate in 2 home visits and 2 parent conferences each year which allows for relationship building and open two-way communication about their child’s progress.


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Program Success Examples

In the 2010-2011 school year, we had a successful Kindergarten Readiness rate of 92%. Children First was also again recently designated as a Program of Excellence and in the top 1% of all Head Start Programs nationally. 

Description Equally important to early education are the services provided to families to enable them to make productive lifestyle choices so that they will be positive role models for their children. This includes helping parents identify and attain goals such as training and employment. We offer training, classes, and other assistance to strengthen families and help them on their way toward self-sufficiency. 
Budget $56,980
Category Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations Families Adults
Short Term Success For each class offered through the Families First Initiative, our target goal is to have a 80% completion rate, with 90% of participants indicating increased knowledge in the subject area of the class. Class lengths vary from 5-10 weeks. 
Long Term Success

Our Families First Initiative offers family strengthening services focusing on family stabilization to further enhance the lives of Head Start, Early Head Start, and the community families we serve. Programs include the Nurturing Dads Initiative (with over 1,800 graduates), Career Readiness for Women, and Grand Champions (for grandparents and other relatives raising young family members).

Program Success Monitoring Our Families First Initiative is overseen by our FFI Manager who schedules, oversees and conducts classes. Some classes are administered by contracted mental health consultants, counselors, and other volunteers, who help track the success of the program. Pre and post assessments are conducted to monitor the impact of the class. 
Program Success Examples Over 1,800 fathers to date have completed our Nurturing Dad's Initiative Class. We have had overwhelming positive feedback from all of our participants over the years on the impact of the program and how it has helped  strengthen their families and helped them on their way to self-sufficiency. 
Description Elaine’s Kids provides culturally sensitive early childhood educational opportunities to children from low income families, especially those from families where English is a second language. The focus of the project is to provide an intensive enrichment program for Elaine’s Kids ages 3, 4 & 5 years living in poverty, preparing them for success in Kindergarten. The program focuses on literacy and social emotional development while ensuring that individual cultural and linguistic developmental needs are addressed. Another focus is to enhance curriculum and to provide teacher training and coaching based on cultural and linguistic diversity needs to reach out to more children in need of services.
Budget $40,000
Category Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) At-Risk Populations Families
Short Term Success
Children will show increased receptive language skills, be able to lable concrete nouns, name parts of the human body and repeat sentences by the teacher.
Long Term Success
Children will demonstrate an increased understanding of the English language.
Program Success Monitoring
Program success is measured by PreLas Assessments. PreLas measures the English language proficiency of learners in early childhood.
Program Success Examples
In 2012:
  • 69% of children gained skills in receptive vocabulary
  • 62% of children gained skills in the ability to label concrete nouns
  • 69% of children gained in the ability to label parts of the human body
  • 60% of children gained in the ability to repeat their teacher's sentences upon instruction
Comments
Program Comments by Organization
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Philip Tavill
CEO Term Start Feb 1996
CEO/Executive Director Email jsaayman@childrenfirst.net
Experience

Mr. Tavill obtained a baccalaureate degree with a major in psychology from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (UWM) in 1989.  Since that time, he has worked continuously in the human services field, both in direct service and management capacities.

 
Following graduation from UWM, Mr. Tavill worked as a Community Employment Counselor and subsequently as the Supervisor of Supported Employment Services at Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Milwaukee,Wisconsin. He returned to Sarasota, Florida in 1990 and was employed by Goodwill Industries - Manasota as Specialist in their Supported Employment Services.
 
In 1991, Mr. Tavill was appointed Executive Director of the Loveland Center (Venice, Florida).  The Center, a private nonprofit agency, provides residential care, day training and supported employment for adults with developmental disabilities. 
 
He attended Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) from 1993 through 1995 as a dual masters’ candidate in Nonprofit Organizations and Social Sciences Administration, masters’ programs offered by the Weatherhead School of Management (WSOM) and the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (MSASS), respectively.
 
Following graduation, Mr. Tavill was appointed President and CEO of Children First, Sarasota, Florida (then Sarasota Day Nursery), in February 1996, his current position.   The agency, organized as a network located at thirteen sites, serves over 600 children, from six weeks to five years, and has a total complement of 175 professional and support staff.  Programs include Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Childhood Education and Families First Initiative, which include the very successful Nurturing Dads classes from which over 1,8500 men have graduated.  Children First is a nationally recognized Head Start “Program of Excellence” one of 10 out of 1,800 programs in the United States.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
NameTerm
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Ms. Carol Butera CFREVice President of Development
Ms. Jennifer Ourednick Vice President of Operations
Ms. Kathleen Sullivan Vice President of Programs
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 150
Part Time Staff 10
Staff Retention Rate % 93
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 7
Volunteers 515
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Collaborations

Formal-with signed agreements:

  • Catholic Charitites at St. Martha’s Early Learning Center and Our Mother’s House-providing comprehensive programming
  • Child Protection Center-Personal Safety & Child Abuse training
  • Dr. Piper Center for Social Services, Inc.-Foster Grandparent program
  • Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County-Quality Initiatives, Board of Directors, staff training
  • Early Steps-disability services for infants and toddlers (community transition agreement still in progress of development)
  • Friendship Volunteer Center-volunteer recruitment and training
  • Healthy Families of Sarasota-family support services for mutually shared families and referrals to Children First
  • Healthy Start-referrals
  • Job’s ETC (recently changed name to Suncoast Workforce)-job training for parents and staff
  • Manatee County Action Agency Head Start-Head Start services forManateeCountyfamilies
  • Sarasota County Health Department-dental service and consultants on their Health Advisory Committee
  • Sarasota County Libraries-Born to Read-literacy program
  • Sarasota County Technical Institute-childcare
  • State College of Florida (formerly known asManateeCommunity College)-EarlyChildhood classes on site for Early Childhood professionals
  • The School Board of Sarasota County-children disability services
  • YMCA-HIPPY Operation Graduation-parent support and education
Informal-Community Partners:
  • Coastal Recovery-mental health services
  • Rotary of the Keys-screenings and health advisory
  • NewtownCommunity Services Coalition
  • Center for Positive Living
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
External Assessments and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
Awards & Recognition
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Program of ExcellenceNational Head Start Association
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Blanket Personal Property
Business Income
Commercial General Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Commercial General Liability and Medical Malpractice
Computer Equipment and Software
Crime Coverage
Day Care Center/Nursery School
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Employee Benefits Liability
Employment Practices Liability
Fiduciary Liability
Flood
General Property Coverage
General Property Coverage and Professional Liability
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
Internet Liability Insurance
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Property in Transit and Off Premises
Risk Management Provisions
Special Event Liability
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government Yes
Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 2
Strategic Plan Adopted 2013
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan
Policies
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures Yes
Comments
Management Comments by Organization
Management Comments by Foundation
Planning & Policies Comments by Organization
Planning & Policies Comments by Foundation
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Board Chair
Board Chair Lacy Ray Jr.
Company Affiliation Retired Municipal
Board Term Jan 2016 to Jan 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Sally Altman Community Volunteer
Barbara G. Benson Retired Educator
Thomas W. Cail IIICail Grande
Audrey Coleman Community Volunteer
Carol A. Hallinger Retired Educator
Jeff Jackson PGT Industries
R. Alan LaFoy Community Volunteer
Brock H. Leach Clergy/Retired Businessman
Elenor Maxheim Community Volunteer
Lacy Ray Jr.Municipal Administrator
Wayne Rollins Business Owner
Philip D. Tavill CEO Children First
Nancy Thomas Community Volunteer
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 7
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Board Meeting Attendance % 79
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
Standing Committees
Comments
Governance Comments by Organization
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $8,024,669.00
Projected Expenses $8,024,669.00
Endowment Value $75,558.00
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
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
$0$0$0
Government Contributions$5,343,477$5,319,955$4,989,230
Federal$5,343,477$5,319,955$4,989,230
State$0$0$0
Local$0$0$0
Unspecified$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$682,328$799,997$640,416
$246,075$246,075$246,322
$1,100,715$1,176,549$1,000,922
Investment Income, Net of Losses$85$582$1,113
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$300,124$300,835$252,245
Revenue In-Kind$497,787$620,501$644,817
Other$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$6,863,402$6,355,390$5,900,447
Administration Expense$771,001$697,929$710,367
Fundraising Expense$517,834$368,178$329,888
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.001.061.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%86%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue8%6%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$6,593,180$6,231,279$5,921,001
Current Assets$2,050,131$1,489,921$1,324,274
Long-Term Liabilities$758,984$803,189$853,758
Current Liabilities$850,237$464,385$526,034
Total Net Assets$4,983,959$4,963,705$4,541,209
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Federal $5,343,477Government Grants - Federal $5,319,955Government Grants - Federal $4,989,230
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContract Revenue $970,725Contract Revenue $1,074,858Contract Revenue $878,897
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $682,328Contributions, gifts, grants $799,997Contributions, gifts, grants $640,416
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities2.413.212.52
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets12%13%14%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures were taken from IRS Form 990 & audited financial statements. 990 & audits reconciled.  Financial information for 2015 was taken solely from the audited financial statements as the Federal tax return was not available at time of review.  The value of in-kind contributions is included in revenue per the audited financial statements.
Nonprofit Children First Inc
Address 1723 N Orange Ave
Sarasota, FL 34234
Phone 941 953-3877

THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY, INC. IS A REGISTERED 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT CORPORATION. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE (1-800-HELP-FLA) OR FROM THE WEBSITE: WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) OF EACH CONTRIBUTION IS RECEIVED BY THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY. REGISTRATION #SC-02471.