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NCEF and FGCU Early Childhood Development Center Reopening—Get in Touch!

‘Our partnership recognizes the pressing need for high-quality, accessible early learning opportunities, ensuring that each child has a powerful foundation for fulfillment,” said Diana Cheshire Ph.D., dean of the FGCU College of Education. COURTESY PHOTO

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, has collaborated with the Florida Gulf Coast University College of Education to totally renovate, reopen and operate an Early Childhood Development Center serving at-risk and underprivileged children in Collier County.

Situated on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College – Collier County, the NCEF Early Childhood Development Center will support the tutorial research and training of high-quality early childhood education and care for kids in Southwest Florida. Students and college from FGCU will conduct research and training on this constructing as a part of the university’s “lab school” philosophy.

“The NCEF Early Childhood Development Center will provide access to high-quality early education to vulnerable children in our community,” said Maria Jimenez-Lara, CEO for NCEF. “We’re proud to collaborate with the FGCU College of Education to support the teaching and learning of young children by providing high-quality early childhood education and care to local children and their families.”

The NCEF Early Childhood Development Center implements a research-based early childhood curriculum that features language arts, early literacy, dramatic play, music, art, science, and enormous and small motor skill development activities through integrated experiences, developmentally appropriate to every child’s age and stage of development. It would serve 93 children from 6 weeks to five years old.

The ten,519-square-foot facility was originally inbuilt 2007. It closed in 2018 consequently of changes at Florida SouthWestern State College. Its reopening was further prevented by the pandemic.

The NCEF Early Childhood Development Center reopened on March 11 following a $2 million renovation and operations grant from NCEF. The middle is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and is a Gold Seal Program certified by the State of Florida Southwest Early Learning Coalition. It’s considered one of two Early Childhood Development Centers overseen by the FGCU College of Education.

For more information, contact coecontact@fgcu.edu or 239-590-7800. ¦

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