Guadalupe Center has earned gold-level recognition from the Florida Early Care & Education Recognition Program for its exemplary efforts in implementing strategies that help prevent childhood obesity.

Florida Early Care honors child care centers and early learning programs that demonstrate a commitment to best practices in the areas of healthy eating, healthy beverages, reduced screen time, physical activity and infant feeding to prevent obesity later in life.

Guadalupe Center, the only center in Southwest Florida recognized by Florida Early Care as a gold honoree, serves more than 300 Immokalee students ages 6 weeks through 5 years old through its Early Childhood Education Program.

“Beyond our focus on academic, social and behavioral instruction, we offer healthy meals to our students every day and make sure they are getting plenty of exercise,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “Even at 3 and 4 years old, children can start developing good habits when it comes to their health and nutrition.”

The award is presented to early learning centers after a thorough evaluation from a steering committee comprised of leaders in the health and education community. Guadalupe Center is the only program in Southwest Florida to receive gold-level recognition.

Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program is accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE). Additionally, the Florida Department of Children and Families recognizes Guadalupe Center as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program and the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida recently awarded its fifth consecutive five-star rating to Guadalupe Center.