Few organizations have as rich a history and legacy as the Early Childhood Council of Hillsborough County, Inc. Formed as a grass roots organization in 1983 by a group of educators, social workers, parents and early childhood advocates, the ECC has always been focused on prevention and early intervention efforts with an emphasis on assisting young children with special needs and their families, because of the fundamental belief that “Every Child Counts”.
Historically, the ECC has been instrumental in identifying service gaps, conceptualizing creative solutions and developing partnerships and collaborative relationships to achieve its mission and vision. The Developmental Screening Program is a great example of addressing an issue through creative collaboration. Launched in 1986, the program has screened over 30,000 children, and has been replicated in Leon and Jefferson Counties. ECC partners with over 30 different community agencies during monthly screenings.
Inclusion Support Services are designed to support early care providers in making accommodations to support children with behavioral and developmental challenges. The desired result of inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families include a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships, and development and learning to reach their full potential.
The Infant Mental Health Project seeks to advance our community’s understanding and awareness of young children’s mental health, and stresses the significance of early attachments and relationships. Hillsborough County’s Early Childhood Court (ECC) addresses child welfare cases to minimize disruption and/or trauma for the children in care by working with the 13th Judicial Circuit and many committed community partners to bring about positive outcomes for the child and family.