Early Childhood Programs
The mission of the Early Childhood Programs is to provide children and their families with opportunities to build a foundation for success through quality, comprehensive, community and school based early childhood programs.
Early Head Start - Head Start
The Early Childhood Programs consist of Early Head Start and Head Start, birth to five programs for disadvantage young children. Our Early Head Start program serves infants to 3 year olds, at the Baker Center in Punta Gorda and HOPE Center in Port Charlotte. Four-year-old Head Start classrooms are located in most of the elementary schools.
Early Childhood Program Beliefs
- Comprehensive services are necessary for quality
- Families are the primary teachers of children
- Everyone deserves to be respected, supported and empowered in his or her roles
- Excellence requires community commitment & partnership
- Advocacy is a shared responsibility
Applications are accepted year round.
All placements are based on the child's age as of September 1 and income eligibility.
Early Head Start and Head Start/VPK are both Income-Eligible.
To process an application you must bring:
- Child's Birth Certificate
- Proof of total household income (1040 Tax Form, child support, TANIF/SS benefit statements)
- Proof of Charlotte County residency (utility bills, lease agreement, vehicle registration)
If child is receiving Speech, Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy, please bring documentation.
Baker Center: Main Administrative ECP Office
311 East Charlotte Ave
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Program Director: Nicole Hansen
Program Manager: Karen James