j0262905.jpgMarina Harkness, Supervisor, Coordinating Services 744-8941, Ext 226
   Sandy Show, Supervisor, Family, Child and Provider Services 744-8941, Ext. 382

School Readiness (Birth to 10)


The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County (ELCHC) www.elchc.org contracts with Hillsborough County Public Schools to provide school readiness services to eligible families in Hillsborough County. Our goal is to provide safe, healthy, and quality early education experience that support enhanced outcomes for children, their families, and the supporting communities.  Child care subsidy is available to:
  • children 0-10 years old from low income working families
  • children 0-12 years old from families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy families (TANF)  subject to federal work requirements and referred by partner agencies
  • children 0-12 years old At-Risk of abuse/neglect (i.e. under protective supervision, foster care, or Relative Caregiver) and referred by partner agencies
  • children 13-18 years old with special needs; documentation and approval is required
The ELCHC is responsible for prioritizing funds based on eligibility categories.
3292011_82817_0.png   Client Services:
The Intake Eligibility Department is responsible for coordinating and authorizing child care for families eligible for services through the School Readiness Program:
  • Enrollment: At the time of eligibility determination families will receive one on one interview with staff and  Child Care Resource& Referral (CCRR) services.
  • Selecting a provider: During the initial interview the client is provided with Child Care Resource & Referral a free service that provides information on different types of child care options, consumer education on choosing quality care, a customized provider listing, and community resources.  Client must select a provider that has an agreement with the School Readiness Program. Upon enrollment the provider will be issued an authorization form required for reimbursement: “Child Care Certificate” or “Pre Authorization for Child Care Certificate”.
  • Authorization period: The  period of time authorized for child care is dependent upon the funding source and/or type of referral and can vary from a few weeks to a year or longer. Children remain in the program as long as their families meet eligibility criteria.
  • Parent Fee: Families receiving subsidized child care are assessed a parent fee based on the Federal Poverty Level income guidelines determined by income and the household size of the family. The parent fee and any additional fees (i.e. registration, transportation, etc.) are to be paid directly to the selected child care provider.  
  • Recertification: To continue child care clients must come in to the office to recertify before their authorization period expires.  Recertification- By- Mail (RBM) is available to particular eligibility categories.  RBM packets are mailed to the client 2 months prior their recertification end date and can be mailed back or dropped off to the Brandon office (see link below).  Clients are then recertified for up to a period of 6 months.
  • Client Services satellite offices: Interested parents may visit any of our locations for additional information and services. (English) (Spanish). More detailed information can be found at Frequently Asked Questions
  • Intake Forms: Client Services forms and documents may be downloaded at Documents to Download.
3292011_82817_1.pngWaiting List:
Funding is limited. When funding is unavailable, families may be placed on the Waiting List as follows:
  • Online application: may be downloaded, completed, and submitted through any of the following links-
(1) Local School Readiness link for Waiting List Application (English) (Spanish).  Client may download the application and mail, fax, or e-mail to the School Readiness address or fax number listed on the application.
(2) Statewide AWI-OEL Single Point of Entry link https://spe.schoolreadiness.org/pe/.  After submission the information is retrieved by School Readiness staff and screened for eligibility for placement on the Waiting List.  
  • School Readiness contact: families may contact the CCR&R office directly at (813)744-8942 to request a listing of providers that may offer scholarships, negotiated rate, or sliding fee scale.
  • Placement: families will be placed on the Waiting List in chronological order according to the date application was received; client will remain active for a period of 6 months intervals. Client must report any changes such as, address, employment, household size, and/or to add a child.
• Waiting List applications are updated at 6 months intervals. An “Update Waiting List Application” will be mailed to the client and must be returned timely to maintain Waiting List eligibility.  Failure to respond will result in the termination of waiting list status.

• When funding becomes available, placement from the Waiting List will be prioritized based on the eligibility category and date the family was placed on the Waiting List. A placement letter will be mailed and client will be required to come to our office for processing.  Additional information and documentation will be required to determine eligibility. If client is offered funding and refuse, or does not reply, waiting list status will be terminated.

3292011_82817_2.png Contact Information:
To help answer questions about child care, School Readiness Program, Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK), or other related topics click on Frequently Asked Questions or call (813)744-8942; staff are available Monday – Friday, from 8am - 4:45pm. If you need immediate attention regarding any concerns or issues, please contact any of the satellite office site managers, if they are unavailable, the calls may be directed to the School Readiness office at (813)744-8941 ext: 279.