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).

DeLuca Toyota – Thank You

On Thursday, August 27th, the Early Learning Coalition of Marion County (ELCMC) surprised Ocala’s DeLuca Toyota to thank them for their new partnership. The Coalition drove a parade of cars through their parking lot, while holding “Thank You” signs and taking pictures. Coalition CEO, Roseann Fricks, and ELCMC board members made a presentation to DeLuca Toyota thanking them for their new partnership.

  The Coalition is one of the newest recipients of Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s “Buckle Up for Life” grant, where the Coalition will be helping to distribute 76 brand-new car seats and booster seats to Marion County families in need. The grant will be providing 52 Evenflo Titan 65 convertible car seats, and 24 Evenflo AMP no-back booster seats.

If a family is in need of a car seat or booster seat, they can contact the Coalitions Success By 6 Coordinator, Chrissy Vickers, for more information. Vickers can be contacted at 352-369-2315 ext 213, or by email at cvickers@elc-marion.org.