About Our Coalition

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Who are we?

Officially, we are The Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties, Inc. We know that’s a mouthful, so we call ourselves ELCFV. We are a nonprofit organization in charge of handling both the School Readiness and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten programs in our two counties. In general, we are the hub for all things early childhood.

What do we do?

Through various programs, we break down barriers to quality early care. In addition to providing funding for childcare, we work with childcare professionals to help them improve their programs.

Why do we do it?

We believe in investing smartly in our community’s future. By providing quality early care for children, we can prepare them for school and life. More than 80% of the connections in a child’s brain are made by age three. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to struggle more in school because of the extra barriers they experience. Focusing on investing in these children early has been proven to yield a 13% return on investment for the community. All Flagler and Volusia County children deserve the best future we can offer them.

Learning is child’s play!

For children age 5 and younger, quality early education and care are vital to their growth. While it may look like play to you, early childhood education curricula are designed to ignite your child’s imagination, create a love of books and assist in development of language, social and emotional skills. The end result: your child enters kindergarten ready to learn!


To enhance children’s school readiness by providing opportunities for quality early learning, while strengthening family stability for a healthy community.Back to top


To meet the early learning needs of each and every child in our community.Back to top


Quality School Readiness Child Care offers families access to affordable, quality child care. This allows them to continue to work and contribute to the community while their children are safe and well cared for. Direct child care services are delivered through a comprehensive network of over 200 contracted child care providers of all shapes and sizes throughout Volusia and Flagler Counties.

Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) FREE Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (or preschool) is available to all Florida four-year-olds. VPK programs utilize learning through play, developmentally appropriate instruction and activities and approved VPK providers to prepare your child to be ready for kindergarten.

Child Screening & Assessment helps identify children who may have special needs and helps parents address these needs early, giving children the best chance of success in school and life.

Child Care Providers are supported by the  Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia in a variety of ways. Providers may access elcfv.org for information on training sponsored by ELCFV and other community partners as well as requirements for participating in the School Readiness and VPK programs. In addition, ELCFV holds quarterly forums to share information about issues that may affect child care programs. ELCFV has a team of Program Representatives who serve as resources to providers to help them offer the best possible quality for families they serve.

Child Care Resource & Referral offered to everyone, regardless of income, offers up-to-date provider information based on individual needs as well as listings for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, employment opportunities, training and professional development.

We are here to help! Feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions or need further information.Back to top


Let us tell you how we became the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia.

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  • Prior to 1999 – The Department of Children and Families administered the federally funded, subsidized child care program providing a safe environment for young children of low income working families and children at risk of neglect and abuse. These services were provided through contracts with central agencies.
  • 1999 – Legislature passed Chapter 411 F.S., establishing School Readiness Coalitions to oversee subsidized child care, adding an emphasis on preparing children for school and providing more oversight at the community level.
  • 2002 – Florida passed a Constitutional Amendment for a Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program (VPK) for four year olds in Florida.
  • 2004 – Passage of Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Legislation brought about implementation of VPK, to be administered through the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Part V for Chapter 1002, F.S. set the criteria for the VPK program.School Readiness Coalitions were renamed Early Learning Coalitions through an amendment to Chapter 411, making coalitions responsible for oversight of School Readiness and VPK programs at the community level and changing the criteria for local Coalition Board members.
  • 2005 – The Flagler and Volusia Coalitions merged to become The Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties, Inc. to serve the community better.  The Coalition contracted with a central agency to continue to offer direct services to both counties.
  • 2007 – The Coalition no longer contracted with a central agency and began offering all services directly, demonstrating higher quality interactions with the community.
  • 2013 – Florida passed a bill that made several changes in the governance structure of early learning.  It established The Office of Early Learning within the Department of Education moving it out of The Agency of Workforce Innovation. School Readiness legislation also removed Chapter 411 F.S. references and recreated reference under Part VI for Chapter 1002, F.S.  This regulation also moved some oversight from the community level to the state level, including identified eligibility priorities, standardized contracts and approved curricula.
  • 2014 – Florida Legislature created the Early Learning Performance Funding Pilot Project through the General Appropriations Act, designed to improve the quality of early learning programs contracted for School Readiness within the state.
  • 2015 – Federal reauthorization of the Child Care Development Block Grant with the attached Child Care Development Funding working to increase the level of quality early learning in the nation.  Florida has made consistent movement since that date to align with requirements.  Examples are additional training requirements for child care staff, implementing group size maximums and requiring DCF inspections of all School Readiness contracted programs, regardless of licensing status.

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Quality early learning is important. Check out these videos to learn why.

Early Learning Matters

Change the First 5 Years and You Change Everything

Change the First 5 Years Gala 2015 – “Are You Smarter Than a Preschooler” Game Show

The Children’s Movement of Florida – I am Florida

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