Palm Beach County, FL
The Children’s Service Council (CSC) of Palm Beach County, initially authorized by a 1986 ballot initiative and reauthorized by voters this year, is an independent special district that provides a continuum of services to young children and families. Services include maternal and child health, early identification and intervention, quality and affordable early learning and after school programs, parenting education and support, teen pregnancy prevention, and mentoring. In 2005, the Florida Legislature established a voluntary preschool program (VPK) for four-year-old children. VPK is implemented through a mixed-delivery model, operating in public schools, public and private child care centers, and other community-based organizations. CSC and VPK services are aligned through their use of the Quality Star Rating System and Florida’s Early Learning and Development Standards. The standards provide a clear and comprehensive framework on child development from birth to five years of age that parents and educators can use to track children’s development. Through collaboration between local and state officials and a combination of local, state and federal funding, Palm Beach County has developed a strong, high-quality continuum of early learning experiences from birth to school entry and equipping their youngest with the skills they need to be ready for and excel in school and beyond.