History of the ELC of Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc.

In the summer of 1999, the Florida Legislature passed the School Readiness Act (s. 411.01, F.S.). Its goal was to consolidate Florida's early education programs into a more efficient and cohesive system to deliver increased opportunities for children to achieve educational and personal success.
Both Pasco County and Hernando County formed School Readiness Coalitions incorporated as private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) agencies in early 2000. In 2005, a state mandate to decrease the number of School Readiness Coalitions became the impetus to consider alternative strategies for operations. Both Pasco and Hernando Counties united their services and enhanced one another's comprehensive programs to provide optimal outcomes for young children and families.
Our merged Coalition Board is charged with the oversight of all early learning programs to include School Readiness and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten in Pasco and Hernando counties including funding, contract management, and monitoring. The Coalition and Board work closely to coordinate a system of programs that jointly comprise a comprehensive set of services for children ages 0-8 and meet the specific needs of our counties.
Additional items of interest:
  • 2008/2009 First Annual Early Learning Conference; 1st annual Storybook Forest Event
  • 2009/2010 Winner of WEDU’s Be More Humble People’s Choice Award; Winner of Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Non Profit of the Year Award; Second Annual Early Learning Conference; 2nd annual Storybook Forest
  • 2013/2014 Sixth Annual Early Learning Conference; 6th annual Storybook Forest; Developed QRIS – Sunshine Stars – program
  • 2014/2015 Seventh Annual Storybook Forest; 7th Annual Early Learning Conference
  • 2015/2016 8th Annual Storybook Forest; 8th Annual Early Learning
  • Conference; Nominated for WEDU’s Be More Humble, Be More Entertaining and Be More Unstoppable – Non Profit of the Year Award; Nominated for Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Non Profit of the Year Award
  • 2016/2017 Ninth Annual Early Learning Conference; 9th Annual Storybook Forest; ELC the Elephant arrives – the Coalition’s new mascot
  • 2017/2018 Tenth annual Early Learning Conference held on October 21, 2017; New Executive Director, Steve Knobl, Ph.D. joins the Coalition as of January 1, 2018; Coalition named winner of WEDU’s Be More Humble “People’s Choice” Award on February 22, 2018; 10th annual Storybook Forest held on March 9, 2018
  • 2018/2019 11th Annual Storybook Forest on March 2, 2019Nominated for Non profit of the year award for the Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce banquet12th Annual Early Learning Conference on October 19, 2019 

New institute to aid early childhood educators

Date: Monday, January 27, 2020
Category: Announcements

The Promise Institute

Date: Friday, January 17, 2020
Category: Press Releases

12th Annual Early Learning Conference: Interactions Matters at Bishop McLaughlin HS

Date: Sunday, November 3, 2019
Category: Announcements

Early learning teachers meet in Pasco, Suncoast News

Date: Monday, October 28, 2019
Category: Announcements

12th Annual Early Learning Conference October 19, 2019

Date: Monday, October 7, 2019
Category: Press Releases

Storybook Forest March 2, 2019 with ELC Executive Director, Steve Knobl Ph.D.

Date: Saturday, March 2, 2019
Category: Announcements
Summary: WEDU PBS attended the annual Storybook Forest at Crews Lake Park in Spring Hill, Florida. The free family event, hosted by the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties in collaboration with the Annual Children's Week festivities, features activities focused on storybook themes. more…


Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018
Category: Announcements
Summary: The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties is focused on delivering quality training and coaching to the more than 350 child care providers across our network. This is particularly important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the development of a child’s brain blossoms and grows at a very rapid rate in the early years of life. more…