Florida Early Childhood Court
Early Childhood Court addresses child welfare cases involving children under the age of 3. It is a problem-solving court where legal, societal, and individual problems intersect. Problem-solving courts seek to address not only the legal issues but also the underlying non-legal issues that will benefit the parties and society as well. The goal of Florida’s Early Childhood Court is to improve child safety and well-being, change the experience and outcomes of children in the child welfare system, heal trauma, repair the parent/child relationship, expedite permanency, and stop the intergenerational cycle of abuse/neglect/violence.
Help Me Grow Florida
The goal of Help Me Grow Florida is to promote healthy development for every child in our
state. Help Me Grow (HMG) is a unique, comprehensive, and integrated statewide system designed to address the need for early identification of developmental and/or behavioral concerns, and then to link children and their families to community-based developmental and behavioral services and supports. HMG offers a telephone access point that links families of young children with sources of support and services to address concerns about a child’s health, development, behavior, and learning in a child’s first eight years of life. It also provides child health care and provider/community outreach trainings on child development and the importance of early detection and intervention.
Florida KidCare is the State of Florida’s high-quality, low-cost health insurance for children. The program was created through Title XXI of the Social Security Act and reauthorized in 2009. Through its four partners, including Florida Healthy Kids, the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the Florida Departments of Health and Children & Families, the program covers children from birth through age 18. Currently, more than 2.4 million Florida children are enrolled in Florida KidCare.
Florida Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Initiative
The Florida Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) initiative is a federally-funded public-private partnership, led by the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, Inc., to improve health and developmental outcomes for at-risk children through evidence-based home visiting programs. MIECHV currently funds three home visiting models (Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, and Healthy Families Florida) in 25 high-need and four additional contiguous communities. In addition to MIECHV sites, federal, state, and local funding also supports additional evidence-based home visiting programs, including the statewide Healthy Families Florida program, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), and Early Head Start – Home-Based Option.
Early Learning, School Readiness & Quality Child Care
The Office of Early Learning in the Florida Department of Education administers the State’s early learning, school readiness, and VPK programs in partnership with a network of community-based Early Learning Coalitions (ELCs). Selected ELCs, including Duval, Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, and Sarasota, have developed Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs.
Early Steps is Florida’s early intervention system that offers services to eligible infants and toddlers (birth to 36 months) with significant delays or a condition likely to result in a developmental delay. Early Intervention is provided to support families and caregivers in developing the competence and confidence to help their child learn and develop.
United Way’s Financial Literacy & Prosperity Program
United Way of Florida and local United Ways provide assistance with tax preparation and other state-supported programs to ensure low-income working families take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). EITC encourages work and provides valuable resources to lift families out of poverty.
Florida’s Children’s Initiatives
Florida Children’s Initiatives are place-based efforts modeled after the nationally recognized
Harlem Children’s Zone. Administered by The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, eligible communities may apply and receive this designation under Florida Statute 409.147. These neighborhoods implement a “cradle-to-college” strategy for addressing the social, environmental, and related factors that challenge the success of low-income families and their children.