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