Established in 1983, the ECC is one of the leading early childhood organizations in the Tampa Bay area providing information and referral services, prevention and early intervention, and training and advocacy to the community. With its long tradition of innovation and strategic planning, the ECC develops programs to meet gaps within early childhood services.
ECC is unique in that it was a grass roots organization built on advocacy and collaboration through volunteer efforts. After 24 years of volunteer partnerships, the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County granted funding to the ECC to develop its administrative infrastructure and become a staff driven 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Today, the ECC continues to grow its membership while managing key services of Developmental Screening, Child Care Inclusion & Technical Assistance, Training and Professional Development.
The Early Childhood Council’s programs have significant impacts on young children and families. One example is the Developmental Screening program which helps to improve a child’s chances for school readiness and early school success through early identification of developmental delays, disabilities and or learning disorders. In cooperation with the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS), the ECC partners with over 35 early childhood agencies to offer free screening of children birth through age five throughout Hillsborough County in key developmental domains such as speech/language, hearing, vision, cognition, motor and social/emotional development.
The ECC has over sixty community partners that provide a network of services and supports for children and families in a variety of disciplines including information and referral, early care and education, early intervention, child welfare, child abuse prevention and infant mental health. The ECC acts as a coordinating council for agencies serving young children, and provides a communication forum for addressing the most critical issues in early childhood.
The mission of the Early Childhood Council is to improve the developmental and academic paths of young children through developmental screenings, school readiness initiatives, professional training and advocacy.