Early Learning Coalition Receives Additional Funding for Childcare Assistance

Marion, FL – 12/4/2020 – The Early Learning Coalition of Marion County (ELCMC) has announced they are clearing their waitlist for eligible families seeking assistance with the cost of childcare through the School Readiness program. Over $1.5 million in funding will be utilized to subsidize the cost of child care for eligible employed families and students whose children require early education programs during the parents work or education hours.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic ELCMC’s School Readiness program assisted with the child care for thousands of Marion County children, at least 700 of which were children of first responders and healthcare workers. ELCMC looks to make sure more parents can remain employed or further their education as Marion County recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I pushed my friends and family to apply,” said Nicollette Williams, who has received School Readiness assistance for the past eight years. “It gives your child an education and you get the opportunity to make a living.”

Additionally, ELCMC looks to ensure the future of many local small businesses in Marion County.

“These childcare providers are primarily small local businesses,” explains ELCMC CEO Roseann Fricks.

“Florida has seen thousands of small businesses shut their doors for good since March of this year”, says Fricks. The additional funding will also assist in keeping Marion County’s child care businesses open during these times of economic recovery.

For more information on how to apply for School Readiness parents can visit the Early Learning Coalition’s website at elc-marion.org/parents/school-readiness, or call the Coalition at (352) 369-2315.

Nicolette Williams and her child (right) being recertified for School Readiness funding by ELCMC staff, Crystal Dugan (left).