Community Newsletter: Q1 2022

Business Leadership Training

To help support our childcare provider community, this spring, the ELCHC launched a new initiative focused on Business Leadership that aims to provide professional growth and improve the quality of care in early childhood programs. This series of robust business and leadership development workshops offered by the ELCHC in collaboration with the Business Leadership Institute focuses on the “business of your childcare business.” The sessions empower early learning childcare entrepreneurs, operators, or educators in examining their operating model by identifying current challenges, changes, and disruptions in the childcare business.

The long-awaited Business Leadership cohorts were catered for Owners, Directors or Administrative staff only; recently graduating 92! CEU’s and technology packages were included for each graduate.  The second cohort started in September 2022. Sessions are offered in multiple cohorts for centers, family childcare homes and in Spanish. 



The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County (ELCHC) began participating in the Child Care INCENTIVE$ Florida program administered by the Children’s Forum, Inc. in 2019. The program rewards teachers for their education level and continuity of care in the classroom. Since 2019, more than 1,200 early education teachers in Hillsborough County, have received wage supplements.  

In the State of Florida, early education teachers, those teaching children birth to age 5, receive an average wage under $12 per hour. Supplemental income such as INCENTIVE$, are especially important during a time of economic inflation. One participating teacher said, “the money benefited me since it helps me with my debts and without worries, I can focus more on my work and dedicate myself completely to working with my children.” 

The monumental $2 million mark was accomplished for work occurring in August 2022. ELCHC Board of Directors and senior leadership, will hand deliver checks to teachers this month.  

From left to right: Director Robin, Sapphire (check awarded), Stacey (ELCHC), and Kari (ELCHC)

How Can Employers Create a Brighter Future For Hillsborough County?

By investing in early learning. The School Readiness (SR) program offers financial assistance to eligible employees for early child education and care so employees can become financially self-sufficient and their young children can be successful in school.

Employers can help support their workforce by participating in the School Readiness match program.  Subject to availability of funds, the SR Match program provides funds to expand the provision of services to employees who typically would not be income eligible for SR services. Local matching funds can be derived from local governments, employers, charitable foundations, and other sources so that Florida communities can create local partnerships focused on using state and local funds for direct services and expanding the number of childcare slots. To be eligible for funding, an early learning coalition must match the state funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Why does it matter? Your company’s contribution has the potential to strengthen your workforce and internal culture by improving employees’ ability to work and earn more-reducing missed workdays and increasing productivity. Employees’ children enrolled in School Readiness will have equal access to and participate in a safe, high-quality early learning program.