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Children First

Serving vulnerable families for 60 years.

Presented by Children First September 8, 2021

MISSION: To strengthen children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being.


  • We envision a vibrant community that cherishes education, provides opportunities for children and families to grow and thrive, and encourages and empowers families in supporting their children.
  • As a Head Start Program of Excellence, we are one of two agencies nationwide to receive this designation four consecutive times (2006-2020).
  • Our award-winning Families First Institute offers free courses to parents and the public including parenting, budgeting and career readiness to help families achieve self-sufficiency.
  • Nearly 89 percent of families enrolled at Children First live at or below the Federal Poverty Level and receive comprehensive services at no cost.
  • As the exclusive Head Start/Early Head Start provider for Sarasota County, we provide services at 15 locations across North Port, Sarasota and Venice.

Serving vulnerable families for 60 years. 

At Children First, we believe every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

In the top 1 percent of over 1,800 Head Start programs in the country, our agency has been providing high-quality early childhood education and family strengthening services to pregnant women, children ages birth to 5, and their families for 60 years.

The education, care and comprehensive services we offer ensure a healthy and strong foundation for success. Through Children First, children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten on track, nutritious meals and an array of services to support their overall health.

Every family works with a Family Advocate to set and meet financial, educational and occupational goals. Advocates provide the support, encouragement and resources families need to move out of poverty.

In honor of our 60th anniversary, we launched The Challenge for Changing Lives, a $1,060,000 matching campaign led by our Diamond Circle supporters. Your philanthropy enables us to offer what every child and family deserves—access to the services they need to thrive and opportunities for success.

Thanks to our staff, volunteers and community!

Want to help make a difference? Visit: ChildrenFirst.net

Children First
1723 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, FL 34234
(941) 953-3877
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