The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) is the main private funder of the new child care center located at Florida SouthWestern State College – Collier Campus, called the NCEF Early Childhood Development Center. The facility was designed to serve children from diverse homes, while also providing a classroom setting for future educators. Our plan is to become a demonstration site where existing and potential providers of early learning and education can experience a Reggio Emilia – inspired program.
The center is operated by Collier Child Care Resources, Inc., a private, non-profit child care agency that serves children, families and early learning professionals. We have had offices in Collier County since 1991 and expanded our offices to include Immokalee in 2001. In May 2008, our focus became Collier County specific and we officially became Collier Child Care Resources, Inc. We are guided by a volunteer Board of Directors from Collier County that meets monthly to discuss budgets, agency activities, future plans, fundraising, professional development and organizational policies.
CCCR is very proud of the innovative, LEED-certified award winning building design (Design Award of Unbuilt Honor in Architecture—Florida Southwest Association of the AIA), funded by Florida SouthWestern State College and the Naples Children & Education Foundation. The center has seven classrooms and an art studio (Atelier), with attention given to the look and feel of the classroom, as the environment is considered the “third teacher”. Children attending range in age from six weeks to five years. Up to 108 children are served by the center.
The NCEF Early Childhood Development Center is proudly diverse with families who speak a total of eight first languages, currently. Children come from various socio-economic backgrounds with income ranging from below the poverty level to non-needy. All children are offered breakfast, lunch and snack daily, regardless of need. Our plan is to become a demonstration site where existing and potential providers and students of early learning and education can experience a Reggio Emilia-inspired program. The center currently has twenty-two employees. All classrooms have at least one staff member with a minimum of a Child Development Associate Certification, Associates Degree and/or Bachelor’s Degree. Employees are required by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to have 10 training hours per year. At our center, staff members are required to have a minimum of 20 training hours and most have exceeded 30 hours of training. All staff have been trained in CPR and First Aid as well.
New programming at the NCEF Early Childhood Development Center has enabled us to develop a center that continues to strive for excellence in developmentally appropriate practice. The following programming is in place:
- The Reggio Emilia Approach
- Creative Curriculum
- The Early Literacy and Learning Model/Plus (ELLM/Plus) and Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum.
“Each child is unique and the protagonist of his or her own growth Children desire to acquire knowledge, have much capacity for curiosity and amazement, and yearn to create relationships with others and communicate.” – Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia Philosophy
For more information about our program, please contact:
NCEF Early Childhood Development Center
7505 Grand Lely Drive, Bldg. K
Naples, FL 34113
Mabel Ramirez, Director of Program Administration