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Resources for Parents, Families, Caregivers

Support for early childhood education

Get the support you need to support your child.

Children don’t come with instruction manuals, and sometimes the journey from “expecting” to “expert” can feel like a fraught path! Kindergarten readiness is a path with a lot of steps, but there are lots of supports in our community to help get you and your little ones off to a great start.


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1. Early Identification and Intervention for Children with Special Needs

If you think your child may have a special need or be best served with extra help, talk with our friends at:

Help Me Grow

This free program is designed to support questions and concerns of families, while providing access to resources that could offer early detection for health or developmental concerns.

FDLRS (Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System)

Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System is a project of the Florida Department of Education that provides diagnostic, instructional, and technology support services to district exceptional education programs and families of students with disabilities.

ELC (Early Learning Coalition) Inclusion Specialist

Free support, information and a referral service regarding the inclusion of children with special needs and disabilities in Pinellas County. Request information relating to disability and special health care needs.

Early Steps

Florida’s Early Steps partners with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital to provide early intervention and therapy services to eligible infants and toddlers (birth to 3 years old) with significant developmental delays or a condition that may result in a developmental delay.

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2. Physical Needs, Mental Health Needs, and Nutrition Needs

If meeting basic health needs is sometimes a challenge, see if the folks at the following agencies can help:

Healthy Kids (Medicaid)

Florida children from birth through the end of age 18 are eligible for health insurance coverage. Florida KidCare includes free, subsidized and full-pay options based on family income and household size.

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

This Food Assistance Program helps people with low-income buy healthy food.

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)

WIC is a federally funded nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children. WIC provides the following at no cost: healthy foods, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, and referrals for health care.

University of South Florida St. Petersburg Infant Family Mental Health Center

Servicing to children 0-5 and their families include assessment, consultation and therapy.

Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County

Wide variety of clinical and nutritional services for residents and visitors alike. Whether you need Primary Care, Dental Services, Laboratory Services, Pediatrics, WIC Services, Family Medical Care, School Based Clinics, or even low-risk outpatient prenatal care.

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3. Ensuring Access to Quality Early Learning Opportunities

Great options for you to consider when looking for places where your little one can learn and grow!

School Readiness Scholarships

Children from low- to moderate-income working families or with other identified risk factors, may receive scholarships to attend an early education program.

Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK)

Prepare four-year-olds for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. All children who turn 4-years-old on or before September 1st and reside in Florida are eligible to attend a free VPK program.

Childcare Resource & Referral from the Early Learning Coalition

FREE community service that offers information and referral services to all families that are looking to find care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, before and after care for school-age children and summer camp information in Pinellas County.

Head Start / Early Head Start

High-quality, early educational services available to children and families who otherwise would lack access to these life-changing child and family support services.


Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is a home-based, parent involvement, school readiness program that helps parents prepare their three-, four- and five-year old children for success in school and in life.

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4. Getting Support for Family Needs

When meeting the daily needs of your baby or your household feels overwhelming, look to some of these resources to help:

211 Tampa Bay and its Family Services Initiative

Helps families with minor children, prevents child protection investigations, homelessness, and further social service engagement by providing families with the right service, at the right time, for the right need.

Healthy Families

Home visiting program focuses on educating and supporting families to be the best parents they can be. The instructions that didn’t come with your baby that everyone could benefit from. We work with families from pregnancy until the child is linked to the school system (up to age 5).

Healthy Start

Healthy Start offers universal screening for all pregnant women at their first prenatal care visit and for infants at their birthing hospital to ensure early preventive care.

The Healthy Start Coalition’s Coordinated Intake and Referral program

Childbirth education; Newborn care instruction; Breastfeeding education and support; Parenting education and support; Counseling services; Help to quit smoking; Nutritional education; School readiness; Child development education and support; Family planning education; Car seat safety; Infant safety.

More help for parents and caregivers.

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