Early Childhood Education

Setting Students up for Success from Infancy to Age 5

Guadalupe Center is setting students up for success from infancy to age 5 with a fully accredited high-quality Early Childhood Education Program in Immokalee, Florida. Our generous donors enable us to use a sliding-scale for tuition based on a family’s ability to pay. On average families pay $39 per week in year-round tuition. We are currently able to reach more than 527 students annually.

While our impact keeps growing and reaching more students in creative and innovative ways, the need is greater than our nonprofit’s current capacity. The wait list for Early Childhood Education at Guadalupe Center currently surpasses 400 babies and toddlers, from ages six weeks to three years old. But with your support, the possibilities are endless!

Setting Students up for Success from Infancy to Age 5
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With your
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Regina Rivera
One Mother’s Words on Early Childhood Education

“I can already see my children going to college and pursuing their dreams because of Guadalupe Center. If it weren’t for Guadalupe Center, I don’t think they would even have those dreams.”
Regina Rivera

Regina attributes her fourth and sixth graders’ academic success to the consistent care of teachers who truly loved them during their early years in a place that inspires learning every moment of every day – Guadalupe Center. She’s pictured here with her preschool age daughter, her third Early Childhood Education student at Guadalupe Center.

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Gourdon’s Teachers See His Potential

Gourdon began his journey at Guadalupe Center in August 2019 when he was just 1 year old, and his teachers say he has always been a joy to have in the classroom. However, he also had certain behaviors that concerned them. He didn’t make eye contact with them or interact with the other students, and he tended to remain focused on a single object. These are signs something could be amiss with his development.

Clearly, Gourdon sees the world differently than most students, but his teachers see his potential. When he entered the Dolphins class with Ms. Venia and Ms. Abby at age 2, they quickly realized Gourdon could recognize letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and animal names just as well as the other students!

With the help of his behavior specialist, Ms. Jen of the Able Academy, who was available to him through Guadalupe Center’s partnership with Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), Gourdon’s family was able to obtain special resources to help this exceptional learner grow and thrive. As a result, he will be prepared to join a public-school classroom with an ESE program. The specialized curriculum and behavioral strategies in this program will be based on Gourdon’s specific needs, picking up where Ms. Jen and his teachers left off at Guadalupe Center.

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Ashley Sees a New World at Smart Start

One mom, Alicia, joined the Smart Start Program with her 1-year-old daughter Ashley last year. Now Ashley is two and has learned the alphabet, numbers 1-10, primary colors and some shapes through Smart Start.

Along the way, Ashley is gaining critical social emotional skills. She went from a very shy toddler who was totally nonverbal to one who answers questions from her mother and engages in circle time with other children during their weekly Smart Start classes!

Alicia says she has learned a lot about positive parenting too, gaining confidence and serenity in her experience as a mother. She and her daughter both see a whole new world of endless possibilities!

How Early Childhood Education Makes a Difference

ACCORDING TO EXPERTS*

A high-quality birth-to-five program for disadvantaged students can deliver:

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REDUCTION IN LIFETIME VIOLENT CRIME
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REDUCTION IN
LIFETIME ARREST
0%
REDUCTION IN UNEMPLOYMENT
0%
RETURN ON
INVESTMENT

*Heckman, James J. (2016). The Lifecycle Benefits of an Early Childhood Education

The research is clear… To break the cycle of poverty, we must start with early childhood education. Why? Because the first five years are critical to a child’s development, laying the foundation for future learning. During these formative years, a child’s brain develops by 90%! The positive impact of a high-quality Early Childhood Education can set children up for a lifetime of success. With 97% of students in Immokalee currently designated as economically needy, Early Childhood Education is more important than ever.

Our Credentials

The following credentials attest to the quality of Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program:

  • Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE)
  • Five Stars from the Southwest Florida Stars Quality Rating & Improvement System
  • Gold Seal Quality Care Program from the Department of Children & Families (DCF)
  • GOLD recognition as a Florida Healthy Early Care & Education Center

“Guadalupe Center students stand out from day one in kindergarten.”
Kamela Patton, Superintendent of Collier County Public Schools

Why Invest in Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program?

Government-funded programs such as Head Start and voluntary pre-kindergarten (VPK), while important, don’t reach children until the age of four or five. Therefore, the cost of childcare falls on hardworking parents in Immokalee. Many of them struggle to put food on their table, much less pay for a fully accredited educational program. As a result, many children will not be ready for school on the first day of kindergarten. That is, unless there is much needed philanthropic support. Generous donors enable Guadalupe Center to provide its high-quality Early Childhood Education Program, which serves children from six weeks old to age five.

Why Invest in Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program?