The Early Learning Coalition of Marion County, Inc. began operations as the Marion County School Readiness Coalition, Inc. in 1999 when Florida legislature created School Readiness Coalitions through F.S. 411.01 (currently F.S. Chapter 1002.51-1002.97). The purpose of the Coalitions state-wide is to ensure that children at risk of academic failure are provided the tools and resources to assist them in being prepared to enter school, and eligible low-income working parents can access quality child care. The Coalition serves as a community-based planning, funding, and service coordinating organization that designs and manages an integrated system of early learning services.
The Early Learning Coalition of Marion County is one of 30 coalitions in Florida. They are responsible for the administration of the School Readiness and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) programs and the Success By 6 parent initiative, in partnership with United Way of Marion County, and other grant funded early learning initiatives such as Help Me Grow.
Approximately 51% of Marion County families are struggling financially (ALICE report, 2018) and lack of affordable childcare should not be a reason a parent chooses not to work.