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The Early Learning Subsidy Program in Marion County was originally established in 1968 with the goal of strengthening families by providing low-cost, quality child care to low-income working families and children at risk of abuse and neglect.  Originally, the funding for the program was raised locally from United Way and community supported fundraising events.

Help from the government began in 1974 through the Tile XX Grant.  The Early Learning Subsidy Program is now funded through the Early Learning Coalition and receives its funding from the Federal Government, the State of Florida and from local donations.  Local donations help us draw down “match dollars” from both the federal government and the state.  Without local match dollars, thousands of needy families could not receive services.

The Early Learning Subsidy Program provides quality, affordable child care services to children birth through twelve years of age on a full day basis all year.

Children who qualify for care are placed into one of the following eligibility categories:

  • Children at risk of abuse or neglect
  • Children of parents who are receiving TANF
  • Children of parents who are no longer receiving TANF and are eligible for Transitional Child Care
  • Children of migrant laborers
  • Children of low-income working families (under 150% of the Federal Poverty Level)

Early Learning/School Readiness

  • Includes extended day and extended year
  • Family eligibility and enrollment
  • Provider eligibility
  • Child health screenings and referrals
  • Child age-appropriate developmental assessment


Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK)

  • Provider eligibility and certification
  • Child eligibility


Special Needs / Inclusion Program

Includes the provision of assistance and consultation to child care centers, family child care homes and parents/caregivers regarding health, developmental, disability, and special needs issues of children, particularly children with disabilities and other special needs.


Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R)

ELCMC offers free information and referral for anyone seeking a quality child care setting in Marion County


Parent Education

Family support and parent education involve the nurturing and protection of children by encouraging, educating and providing resources for the adults who are responsible for children’s care.


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