News & Events


ELCHC Newsletter: Q3 January – March 2023

A Message from the CEO

Brain development is important for business leaders, community partners, and parents to understand if we want to succeed in Hillsborough County. The number of children in our community receiving quality early care and education through resources and efforts of the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County (ELCHC) is close to 25,000 today.

These 25,000 leaders of tomorrow depend on the hard work of the Early Education providers of centers and Family Childcare Homes to protect them, educate them, and ensure their readiness to enter kindergarten with the necessary and appropriate development, cognitive skills, curiosity, and support to thrive.

This is achieved through partnerships between early education teachers, parents, non-profits, government, libraries, businesses, and the Hillsborough County Public Schools. This partnership continues to grow and is challenged if we turn our heads away for a moment. 

We must remain vigilant. Vigilant and purposeful in supporting all children. Summer is near. As it approaches, the ELCHC asks that parents prepare enriching learning activities for children to encourage their curiosity and educational gains.

We will do our part. We are working with several resources, partners, and collaborators to ensure that learning continues, and students are boosted to new heights in reading, math, and science.

Dr. Fred Hicks Headshot
Dr. Fred Hicks

As we see the gains made by students, we are working to ask for the necessary appropriations to support students with adverse childhood experiences, children with special needs, and those who need additional support to become ready for school.

We look forward to exciting announcements regarding the success of our voluntary pre-kindergarten classes as they approach their 2023 graduations. Thank you to our early care education directors, owners, bus drivers, teachers, and aides for their hard work and dedication. We love the work you all do and are here to help.

Meet the ELCHC Team

Rayn Moses, a New Jersey native, is an eligibility coordinator at the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in public relations. 

Growing up, Rayn watched family members navigate the foster care system and vowed that she would someday do something to help others in similar situations. Today, Rayn is making a difference in the lives of at-risk children in Hillsborough County by immediately ensuring they receive child care services. 

As part of her role, Rayn works directly with referring agencies, pulling reports and data to help the eligibility team process cases efficiently. Rayn takes pride in being part of a team that can help families in need. She can ensure that children can access high-quality education and care services by working closely with her peers and referring agencies such as the Children’s Network and Metropolitan Ministries. 

We are so grateful for the excellent work done by Rayn and all our team members. They have all made invaluable contributions to the well-being of children and families, demonstrating their commitment to providing access to quality care and support. 

Community Outreach

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Grant

ARPA World-Class Workforce Initiative

The Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Grant launched in early 2023 funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The purpose of the funding is to positively affect the outcomes for children by improving adult-child interactions. Providers who apply for funding will provide a clearly defined training plan and full program implementation (available to the entire teaching staff).

In early March, the first two recipients of the grant were awarded at their location with a visit by CEO Dr. Fred Hicks.

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City of Tampa MLK Day Parade

On January 16, 2023, the ELCHC participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. parade. Among ELCHC team members, friends, and family, a total of 24 individuals represented the ELCHC. The parade gave us an opportunity to promote literacy by handing out books to families along the parade route.  We are grateful for being part of an event that celebrates one of our greatest American heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

Day of Play: Nature in the Park

Day of Play: Nature in the Park events promote play-based learning through STEAM activities, encourage positive parent-child interactions, and provide information about our programs and services, as well as other resources in the community. Day of Play is a free family fun event held quarterly at Hillsborough County parks and recreation locations. 

We thank Hillsborough County and all our partners who participate in Day of Play to ensure that parents are given the tools necessary to be their child’s first teacher, significantly impacting the first five years of their child’s development. 

Click the link below to learn more about Day of Play and to register for the next event on April 15, 2023.

Support Our Mission

It may surprise you that only half of the children in Hillsborough County are ready for kindergarten. Children who are ready for kindergarten are more likely to graduate from high school, earn higher incomes, be healthier adults and stay out of the criminal justice system. Imagine the potential for our local community and economy if all of our youngest citizens stayed on this trajectory!