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About The Florida Center for Early Childhood
For 40 years, The Florida Center for Early Childhood has been the leading provider of therapeutic services, early education, and healthy development for young children in southwest Florida, offering a seamless delivery of services for the whole child and their family. Today, the agency is nationally recognized for its early childhood expertise in a variety of specialties. The Florida Center provides developmental therapies, mental health counseling, Starfish Academy preschool, the Healthy Families home-visiting program, and the state’s only Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders clinic.
“Targeting children under the age of 3, ECC (Early Childhood Court) is an intense but voluntary diversion program that expedites the route to “permanency”— either family reunification or stable placement elsewhere —for children in foster care. But ECC isn’t just about speeding up the legal process. It’s about addressing the underlying issues by taking a therapeutic approach and making sure trauma-informed mental health care is an integral part of the healing process for both the child and the parent.”
“Florida’s early childhood courts are doing such a good job protecting infants and toddlers from disintegrating families that lawmakers are being asked to take the program to the next level.”