Early Childhood Programs

Our Mission

The mission of the Early Childhood Programs is to provide children and their families with opportunities to build a foundation for success through quality, comprehensive, community and school based early childhood programs.

Early Head Start - Head Start

The Early Childhood Programs consist of Early Head Start and Head Start, birth to five programs for disadvantage young children. Our Early Head Start program serves infants to 3 year olds, at the Baker Center in Punta Gorda and HOPE Center in Port Charlotte. Four-year-old Head Start classrooms are located in most of the elementary schools.

Early Childhood Program Beliefs

  • Comprehensive services are necessary for quality
  • Families are the primary teachers of children
  • Everyone deserves to be respected, supported and empowered in his or her roles
  • Excellence requires community commitment & partnership
  • Advocacy is a shared responsibility

Baker Center: Main Administrative ECP Office

311 East Charlotte Ave
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Fax: 941-575-5474
Program Director: Nicole Hansen
Program Manager: Karen James

Application Information

Applications are accepted year round.

All placements are based on the child's age as of September 1 and income eligibility.
Early Head Start and Head Start/VPK are both Income-Eligible.
To process an application you must bring:

  • Child's Birth Certificate
  • Proof of total household income (1040 Tax Form, child support, TANIF/SS benefit statements)
  • Proof of Charlotte County residency (utility bills, lease agreement, vehicle registration)
If child is receiving Speech, Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy, please bring documentation.

Family Reading Experience

When parents checkout three books for their child they receive a "keeper" book for each child as a reward. What a great way to have wonderful reading experiences at home and to build a home library! Centers will be open through the end of April. Come and join in on the fun!

Title I Family Reading Experience Schedule (Book Check-Out Program)

Table Scrolls if Necessary.

School Staff Location Days Open Start Time Stop Time
The Academy
Chris Stephenson
Ext. 314
Rm. A-119
Monday - Thursday
9:30 AM
1:00 PM
11:30 AM
3:00 PM
Deep Creek Elementary School
Denise Bourne
Ext. 268
Rm. C-113 Wednesday 7:45 AM 8:35 AM
East Elementary School
Karen Miller
Ext. 122
Rm. 122 Wednesday &
7:30 AM
2:30 PM
9:00 AM
3:15 PM
Kingsway Elementary School
Teresa Knight
Ext. 255
Media Center Wednesday 7:45 AM 8:45 AM
Liberty Elementary School
Jennifer McGill
Ext. 290
Media Center Tuesday &
7:30 AM 8:30 AM
Murdock Middle School
Britteney Kindred
Ext. 211
Rm. A-101 Thursday
9:00 AM
3:00 PM
10:00 AM
4:30 PM
Meadow Park Elementary School
Gina Pennybacker
Ext. 2170
Rm. 125-I
2:30 PM
7:30 AM
3:30 PM
8:30 AM
Myakka River Elementary School
Angie Kopp
Ext. 217 - Office
219 - Family Center
Rm. H-125 Tuesday &
7:45 AM 8:30 AM
Neil Armstrong Elementary School
Renee Murno
Ext. 303
Rm. 125-H Tuesday &
7:00 AM
2:30 PM
9:00 AM
3:30 PM
Port Charlotte Middle School
Diane LaNovara
Ext. 250
Rm. N-149-B Thursday
8:00 AM
3:00 PM
9:30 AM
4:30 PM
Peace River Elementary School
Chris Marcoguiseppe
Ext. 222
Rm. 125-H
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM
2:30 PM
8:30 AM
3:30 PM
Salie Jones Elementary School
Monica Kiburz
Ext. 2025
Rm. 127-128
Tuesday & Thursday
7:45 AM
2:30 PM
8:30 AM
3:30 PM
Vineland Elementary School
Nan Fetzer
Ext. 220
Rm. A-149 Wednesday 7:55 AM 8:55 AM

Homeless Education Project

The goal of the Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) Homeless Education Project is to help students in transition achieve academic success.

Quick Stats - Students serviced through April for the 2017-2018 school year:

Homeless Student
  • 406 students were certified in the program (approximately 102 families)
  • 31 students from the Englewood / El Jobean area
  • 225 students from the Port Charlotte / Murdock area
  • 149 students from the Punta Gorda / Burnt Store / Deep Creek area
  • 52 students are unaccompanied youth
5 Year Trend

Who is a homeless student?

Homeless students are those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This includes:

  • Students living in emergency or transitional shelters, FEMA Trailers, abandoned in hospitals.
  • Students sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; doubled-up.
  • Students living in cars, parks, temporary trailer parks, or campgrounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations,public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings or similar settings.
  • Students living in hotels or motels.