Founded in 1979, The Florida Center for Early Childhood is the leading provider of therapeutic services, early education, and healthy development for children, birth through age nine, in southwest Florida. The agencys mission is to help build and foster strong families and expand the potential of young children. It offers developmental and mental health therapies and early education at two Sarasota County sites. Other programs provided throughout the region include Healthy Families child abuse prevention, Early Childhood Court, and the states only Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders diagnostic clinic. These programs help children overcome their challenges so they can start school prepared and well-adjusted. Through a partnership with Sarasota County Schools and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the agency also provides mental health counselors in 15 local elementary schools. Approximately 3,000 children and families benefit from services each year.