Early Care & Education

Early Care & Education Programs (primarily for children ages 0-6) currently funded by Manatee County Children's Services.


Collaborative Action Therapy for Children’s Health/Wellbeing

Program provides language and speech screenings, evaluations, and therapy for children aged 30months through 5 years old. This program helps families with children that are identified with a speech or language disorder, who are unable to access other means of speech therapy and receive therapy through the program at their childcare center at no cost.

Services also include screenings on-site, in childcare centers or at family homes, otherwise they are screened at the Step Up Suncoast office.


  • Manatee County resident
  • Ages 30 months - 5 years,
  • Attend a licensed child care facility in Manatee County

Phone: (941) 827-2887 Ext. 7722

Provider: Step Up Suncoast, Inc. 

Location: Varies

Hours: Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and other as deemed necessary

Website: stepupsuncoast.org

Early Care & Education Childcare Subsidy and Match Program

Program provides subsidized child care services for Manatee County children whose families meet the eligibility criteria. A referral service is provided for all child care services for Manatee County children, regardless of income.

Services also include: developmental assessments, feedback and stimulation activities, observation of children with possible delays, and helps to locate and obtain additional evaluations and therapies if needed from other agencies in the community who would best serve the needs of the individual child.


  • Manatee County resident with children ages 0-13 years

Phone: (941) 757-2900

Provider: Early Learning Coalition Location 600 8th Avenue West, Palmetto, FL 34221 (Intake). Child care services are provided at Manatee County licensed child care centers and/or licensed family child care homes contracted to provide services.

Hours: Monday - Thursday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Friday mornings by appointment

Website: elc-manatee.org

Head Start/Early Head Start

Program provides center based early childhood development services at six sites throughout Manatee County for children from six weeks to five years old.  The services are comprehensive and include education, health, including oral and mental health. family engagement and nutrition.

Services also include


  • Manatee County residents
  • Ages six weeks to 5 years
  • Meet income qualifications for the program

Phone: (941) 827-2887

Provider: Step Up Suncoast, Inc. 

Location: Various sites throughout the community

Hours: Monday – Friday 8am-5pm; other times vary based on the age of the child

Website: stepupsuncoast.org

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)

Program provides home visiting, school visiting, school readiness program that helps parents prepare their 2-5 year-olds for success in school and beyond. This provides 30 weeks of school readiness activities that are provided to the parents throughout the 30 weeks and are filled with activities that the parents can do at home and use role-play with their child. Program also provides books, activities, skills needed to prepare children for kindergarten. These activities are designed to involved parents as their child's first teacher and to ensure school readiness.

Services also include: Child Developmental Milestones/School Readiness, strengthen child's cognitive, early literacy, social/emotional and physical development. Empower parents by building confidence and removing barriers while involving parents in early literacy.


  • Manatee County residents

  • TANG eligible

  • Have children ages 2-4 years old by Sept 1st 

  • Meet income qualifications below 200% FPL

  • Medicaid Eligible 

Phone: (941) 827-0188

Provider: Step Up Suncoast, Inc. 

Location: Child's home

Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., other hours as necessary

Website: stepupsuncoast.org


Nemours Reading BrightStart!

Program provides a supplemental curriculum designed to be an intensive intervention for teaching language and early literacy skills to small groups of three-four and five-year-old children screened and deemed at-risk for reading failure. Staff provide curriculum materials, technical assistance, professional development, coaching, and child progress monitoring to participating early care and education practitioners, assisting them in implementing high-quality literacy instruction that supports children in achieving the age-appropriate literacy skills predictive of becoming successful readers in kindergarten.


  • Manatee County residents
  • Ages 3 and 5 and their preschool classroom teachers

Phone: (941) 212-4995

Provider: Early Learning Coalition of Manatee

Location: Various preschool sites throughout the community and virtual sessions as needed.

Hours: Monday – Friday; times vary based on the operating hours of the preschool center and weekends as needed.

Website: elc-manatee.org