Finding Quality Child Care can be a challenge. We are here to help you. The services of our Child Care Connection program offers a number of services outlined below that include individualized listings of programs based on parent preferences, financial assistance information, and help with identifying high quality programs. Be sure to also visit our Look for the Stars site where you can get information on our 5 star rating system and current star levels for participating programs.
Child Care Connection Program Office
1750 17th Street, Building L, Sarasota, FL 34234
Sarasota Parent Lobby hours
Note: Can be limited on occasion due to COVID
Friday- by appointment as needed
By Telephone, E-mail, and Scheduled Appointment:
About Child Care Connection
Services for families are offered through the Early Learning Coalition’s Child Care Connection program. Child Care Connection helps children get ready to succeed in school and in life. We do that by promoting high quality early education programs and providing education and assistance to families. We also advocate for children, families and child care providers by providing a strong voice on behalf of children.
Child Care Financial Assistance
The program provides financial assistance to income eligible families to access early childhood education.
The program helps families to become financially self-sufficient and for their young children to be successful in school and in the future.
Parents can apply for child care financial assistance by submitting a School Readiness application on the Family Portal website https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/Login. Please refer to the School Readiness application for current eligibility requirements.
For questions regarding the School Readiness Program or the Family Portal, email
(VPK) Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program
Florida’s FREE VPK program offers high quality learning opportunities for all four-year-old children.
A child must be 4 years old on or before September 1, but not yet 5 years old or older, and/or not eligible for kindergarten. Some exceptions are allowed for 5 year olds
The parent must be a resident of Florida.
Parents can register for either the School Readiness and/or VPK by following the link https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/Login
Click here for many resources available to you, including Office of Early Learning Parent Pages newsletters.
Child Care Resource and Referral
Provides free services and resources listed below to enable parents or other caregivers to make informed choices on quality child care
- Individualized listings and referrals for quality child care based on parent’s specific needs such as location, type of program, or provider’s star level.
- Educating parents on how to identify a quality program by using tools such as a Quality Checklist, Licensing, and Look for the Stars program (see below)
- Materials covering many areas of child development and behavior including the importance of early literacy.
- Assistance in locating community resources to support families and children.
- Parents are encouraged to arrange interviews and visits to several child care providers.
Parents are encouraged to use the following tools when visiting and selecting a child care provider:
Submit your request for child care listing to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-556-1600 ext 106
Click here for Sarasota Area Family Resources.