Early Learning Coalition Of Floridas Heartland Inc
2886 Tamiami Trl Ste 1
Port Charlotte FL 33952
The mission of the Early Learning Coalition of Florida's Heartland, Inc. is to support families and children in accessing high quality early care and education services via School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten programs. The ELCFH also serves as a point of access to resources and referrals for health care and family support services.
CEO/Executive Director Anne Bouhebent
Board Chair Ashley Coone
Board Chair Affiliation DeSoto County Chamber of Commerce
General Info
Organization DBA
Supported Organization
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2001
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2016
State Registration 0
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $13,376,042.00
Projected Expenses $13,376,042.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement

The ELCFH continues to focus on the reduction of operational costs and assure eligible children receive child care services.  During FY 14-15, we were able to bring children off the wait list and into child care services in all four counties in our service area. The children, primarily age birth to five years, are low income and in need of child care while their parents work or attend school. 

Needs Statement
1. Typically, there are over 500 eligible children on the ELCFH wait list for financial aid for child care services. The cost per child for a full month of full time child care is $410; annual cost is $4,920. 
2. Individualized support services are needed for 50 children with developmental needs. Services include screening and assessment, individualized accommodation for the child, and support and resources for the parent and child care provider. The average cost per child for the year ranges from $700 - $1000.
3. High quality children's books are needed for young children. These books are coupled with good tips for parents on the importance of reading to their child every day. A donation of $500 will purchase 100 books for young children in need. 
Background Statement

In 1999, the School Readiness Act (Ch 411.01, FS) was passed by the Florida Legislature. This legislation mandated the creation of school readiness programs and the establishment of local School Readiness Coalitions in each county in Florida. The Coalitions administered financial aid for child care services for eligible families and provided technical assistance and training for child care providers. The DeSoto County School Readiness Coalition merged with the Charlotte County Coalition in 2004 to maximize the operational cost effectiveness of both counties. In 2005, DeSoto and Charlotte became part of a larger Early Learning Coalition serving Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands Counties. The Board of Directors adopted the name of the Early Learning Coalition of Florida's Heartland, Inc. (ELCFH). Also in 2005, Florida voters passed the Voluntary Pre-kindergarten Program (VPK), which was subsequently administered in each county through the Early Learning Coalitions. VPK assured that every Florida child would have access to a free preschool program the year prior to kindergarten entry. 

Today, the ELCFH continues the its work of administering financial aid for child care services and VPK through child care providers who have made a commitment to high quality practices. Developmental support for children birth to five years is provided through screenings and assessments and individualized planning.  Parents have access to important information about overall child development and selection of high quality child care services.The ELCFH is responsible for raising 6% in match funding to support state and federal funds which are utilized to provide child care subsidies for low income families who are working or attending school.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
preschool, child care, early childhood education, Early Learning Coalition, financial aid
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

The Early Learning Coalition of Florida’s Heartland Inc. provides financial assistance for child care for low income and at-risk families in Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands Counties. The children we serve are in need of child care services while their parents work or attend school, or have a referral from a partner agency mandating the need for child care. The child care service is provided through local child care providers who qualify to contract with the ELCFH

By contracting with the ELCFH, child care providers agree to provide a high quality early care and education program to children. This directly aligns with the mission of the ELCFH Board of Directors which is to support families and children in accessing high quality early care and education services via SR and VPK Programs. The vision of the ELCFH is that each child will have a strong early foundation to ensure a lifetime of success. ELCFH staff supports both the mission and vision of the Board through comprehensive work with child care providers and parents. We strive to provide top notch information through training, technical assistance, and written materials to support the developing child.

In any given month, the ELCFH serves 1500 - 1600 children who are identified as low income, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) recipients or are at-risk for child abuse or neglect. The need for high quality child care is great for these children, and research findings show communities that investing in young children now, saves on tax dollars later.

The HighScope Perry Preschool longitudinal study found that children with adverse issues early on in life who attended high quality early care and education programs generally did better as adults. In this study, low income participants attended a high quality preschool program and then followed through adulthood. At the age of 40, they were found to be more likely to have graduated from high school, have a savings account, and own a home. Additionally, they were less likely to have needed remedial education or to have been arrested.It is estimated that for every dollar spent on high quality early care and education programs for our most vulnerable children,taxpayers realize a later savings of $7.16 (Schweinhart, 2002).

The dollars received by the ELCFH for child care services and programs is directly utilized towards the 6% community match requirement. These dollars are spent on child care services or designated programs and assure that local child care providers are reimbursed for 100% of the service they provide.


The School Readiness Program provides financial aid for child care services for low income children whose parents are either working or attending school.  These services are provided through local, contracted child care providers. The ELCFH expects that the child care services are of the highest quality as research studies have shown that low income children who have access to high quality early care and education services do significantly better in school.

Budget $5,897,564
Category Human Services, General/Other Child Care
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success

Children receiving financial aid for child care services through the ELCFH are provided with a developmental screening (Ages and States Questionnaire). This screening helps to detect lags in development that warrant additional support or more formal evaluation. A total of 967 children receiving financial aid for child care services in the ELCFH service area were screened; 73% of those children were determined to be typically developing. The other 27% were either provided support services at the child care provider facility (for less significant issues) or referred to a partner agency for additional evaluation to determine if the child had a special need.

Long Term Success

Ultimately, long term economic success is realized as parents are able to secure better employment (some through access to needed education) and are no longer in need of child care subsidies. Success is also realized as children enter school ready to learn: of 90 School Readiness funded children who are starting kindergarten in the Fall, 2012, 78% were noted as typically developing through the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (child development screening). Those children whose screening results indicated a possible lag in development were provided support services through the provider facility or referred to a partner agency for further evaluation to determine if the child had a special need. Early identification of a special need coupled with needed interventions can help to greatly reduce the negative outcome of the need and move the child towards school success.

Program Success Monitoring

The ELCFH monitors the School Readiness Program through facilitation of child care provider contractual monitors. These monitors carefully review all aspects of the provider contract to assure that the service provided to children is the best possible. Child progress is tracked through child screening, assessment and referral activities which are monitored through an on-line system and internal database. Additionally, the ELCFH Is monitored by Florida’s Office of Early Learning (State level lead agency) to assure services are aligned as mandated by Florida Statute.

Program Success Examples

Parent success- a client recently wrote a letter to the ELCFH expressing her gratitude for the financial aid for child care services that she received for her child. She had just completed her Associate’s degree and was moving forward with a Bachelors degree. She stated that attainment of education would not have been possible without the support of the ELCFH- she would soon be able to secure gainful employment that would allow her to support her family.

 Child success- a young child was receiving child care services through the ELCFH. An Early Care and Education (ECE) Specialist facilitated a developmental observation/ assessment of the child at the request of the parent and child care provider and noted that she appeared to be delayed. After much evaluation, a serious delay was identified and needed therapies finally started for the child. The child is continually progressing and has reached major developmental milestones that without intervention would have been difficult, if not impossible, for her. The ECE Specialist continues to monitor the child’s progress and provides support and information to the child’s parent and child care provider.

Program Comments by Organization
1. Family friendly offices and hours that are convenient for the working parent. Reception areas host computer stations so families can easily access needed resource information, service registration portals etc.
2. Well trained staff results in supporting parents to remain eligible for programs and continuity of services for the children so that parents can work or complete education training activities.
3. Ongoing grant searches and submitting applications to meet the needs of the service area.
4. Extremely low administrative costs to maintain services for families.
5. Well organized, knowledgeable and bilingual management team.
6. Well linked to the broader community and the gaps of services so that they can be addressed.
1. To maintain the level of funding to meet rising costs of doing business.
2. Sufficient funds that will service the needs of eligible families who are currently on the current wait list.
3. Each year it is a true challenge to raise the 6% required match for child care services.
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Anne Bouhebent
CEO Term Start Nov 2006
CEO/Executive Director Email abouhebent@elcfh.org
Anne Bouhebent began her career in early childhood education as a preschool teacher in 1990. This eventually led to serving as a child care center director and adjunct instructor for local community colleges. Her work moved to the non-profit sector in 1997 with a Child Care Resource and Referral agency in Los Angeles, CA. Her role was to provide training and technical assistance to family child care providers who were contracted to care for children receiving child care subsidies.

After moving to Fresno, CA in 2001, she was employed by First 5 Fresno County- an agency which administered public funds for innovative early care and education programs including home visitation, center based child care, faith based child care, program assessment and child screening. During this time, she also completed her Master of Arts Degree with focus on Early Childhood Education at California State University, Fresno. 
She was hired as the Executive Director of the Early Learning Coalition of Florida’s Heartland, Inc. in November, 2006. In her time of service to the ELCFH she has focused on the need for high quality child care services for children, assuring children’s personal rights are understood and honored, and building a transparent and fiscally responsible non-profit organization.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 33
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 82
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 0
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes

The ELCFH has numerous community partners throughout the four county service area of Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands Counties. These partnerships are integral to the work of the ELCFH as conversations and networking assure non-duplication of services and identification of unmet needs of children and families. Additionally, partner agency collaboration is an invaluable tool for on-going review of service delivery and seeking ideas for improvement and expansion.

Partner agencies include: Healthy Families Desoto/ Hardee; Healthy Families Charlotte; Healthy Families Highlands; Charlotte County Healthy Start Coalition; Healthy Start Coalition of Hardee, Highlands and Polk Counties, Inc.;CCPS- Head Start Baker Center; RCMA; Department of Children and Families- Child Care Licensing; Charlotte Community Foundation; TATS-USF; Florida HIPPY;  Highlands County Health Department; School Districts (Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands); Southwest Regional Workforce Development Board; Heartland Workforce Development Board; Edison State College; South Florida Community College; Champion for Children Foundation of Highlands County; United Way of Charlotte County; United Way of Central Florida; UWCF- Highlands Division; Sebring Kiwanis; Sunrise Kiwanis; Child Care of Southwest Florida; Safe Children Coalition; Heartland for Children.

External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 3
Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2013
Management Succession Plan Yes
Policies and Procedures Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Management Comments by Organization
Management Comments by Foundation
Board Chair
Board Chair Ashley Coone
Company Affiliation DeSoto County Chamber of Commerce
Board Term Nov 2013 to Apr 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ashley Coone DeSoto County Chamber of Commerce
Hilaria Cuevas RCMA
Deb Dekeulenaere Healthy Families DeSoto/ Hardee
Nancy Ebrahimi Department of Children & Families designee
Tom Gifford DeSoto County School District
Deborah Gutierrez South Florida State College
Charlotte Heston Lakeview Mobile Court
Gary Kline Private Secotr Business- Charlotte
Anne Lang Busy Kids Creative Learning Center
Andrew Lethbridge Dist Superintendent of Schools designee
Debbie Markham First State Bank of Arcadia
Robert McMillan Gubernatorial Appointee
Ron Mills Private Sector Business- Charlotte
Joe Paterno Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board
Kathleen Roehm Peace River Explorations
Shawn Smith Hair by Shawn and Company
Aaron Stitt Children's Services Council designee
Parke Sutherland Attorney
Susan Weber Rep for Faith based providers
Dr. Michael Wesson Charlotte County Private Sector Business representative
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 10
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 71
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 25
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions
Constituency Includes Client Representation
Standing Committees
Governance Comments by Organization
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2015
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $13,376,042.00
Projected Expenses $13,376,042.00
Endowment Value
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
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years?
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 Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$13,174,636$12,986,496$13,399,415
Individual Contributions$63,287$252,942$255,580
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$0$0
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$11,771,044$11,808,528$12,314,925
Administration Expense$1,498,607$1,433,289$1,390,970
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.001.001.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%89%90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$759,860$871,379$1,008,212
Current Assets$703,647$834,020$964,046
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$765,795$845,586$980,040
Total Net Assets($5,935)$25,793$28,172
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Federal $8,427,702Government Grants - Federal $7,982,292Government Grants - Federal $8,575,702
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - State $4,517,186Government Grants - State $5,004,204Government Grants - State $4,826,713
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Unspecified $229,748Contributions, gifts, grants $252,942Contributions, gifts, grants $255,580
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.920.990.98
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990 or audit.  Financial figures are taken from the 990s.  The audited financial statements and Federal tax returns are reconciled.
Nonprofit Early Learning Coalition Of Floridas Heartland Inc
Address 2886 Tamiami Trl Ste 1
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Primary Phone 941 255-1650 127