About Us

Our History

The Lake County Coalition is among 30 organizations in Florida established by state legislation to administer the School Readiness and Voluntary Program in Lake County, Florida.  The Coalition provides a variety of innovative early learning services to Lake County families including, child care resource and referral services, subsidized child care assistance and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program eligibility services.  Child care services are offered to children ranging from birth to age five, as well as after school programs for children to age twelve.


The School Readiness Program offers financial assistance to low-income families for early child education and care so families can become financially self-sufficient and their young children can be successful in school in the future


The Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program prepares early learners for success in kindergarten and beyond. Children must live in Florida and be 4 years old on or before September 1 of the current school year to be eligible. The program helps build a strong foundation for school using educational materials that are geared to various stages in a child’s development. 

Our Mission

To educate and support parents, early childhood professionals and the community as we collaborate to continue to provide the highest quality early learning programs for our children.

Our Vision

The children and families of Lake County are our future and our most vulnerable resource. Our children will enter school eager to learn and ready to succeed.

"Just Match It" Campaign

The Early Learning Coalition of Lake County participates in the Early Learning Match Initiative. For every dollar generated locally, State and Federal funding sources contribute $1.00.
The benefits of child care subsidies extend well beyond the family. The providers pay their employees who in turn shop at the local businesses, pay their housing and living expenses, etc.
We are depending on your help to expand services to more children and families in Lake County.

Will you help today?

Please sponsor a child!

If you would like get more information about the JustMatchIt campaign please contact Lesha Buchbinder, Executive Director at 352-315-6662 or lbuchbinder@elclc.org.

Board Members & Meetings

Board Members

B. E. Thompson


Sandi Moore

Vice Chairwoman

Caroline VanDyken


Karen West


Jackie Atkinson

Lake County Schools

Robin Austin

Private Sector Business

Jacqueline Barnwell-Williams

Lake Sumter State College Board Representative

Josh Blake

Lake County Board of County Commissioners

Linda Brown

Faith Based Child Care Provider Representative

Doreen Chatelier

Private Child Care Provider Representative

Andrea Dunckel

I.D.E.A. Representative

Brandon English

Private Sector Business

Richard Forrester

Department of Children and Families Representative

JewRonda Greene

Episcopal Children's Services, Inc./Head Start

Gustavo Henriquez

Regional Workforce Board Representative

Aaron Kissler

County Health Dept. Director

Laura Tolbert

Private Sector Business

If you are interested in being a volunteer member of our Board of Directors, click here for our

On-Line Board Nomination Form

Staff Directory


Lesha Buchbinder

Executive Director

EXT - 352-315-6662

Leila Almeida

Executive Assistant

EXT - 352-315-6663

Joanne Brinck

Operations Support Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6695

Family Services

Timothy Layne

Family Services Director

EXT - 352-315-6668

Lillian Lopez

Family Services Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6680

Teressa Parrish

Family Services Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6690

Michele Humbert

Administrative Support Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6661


Jennifer Aldrich

Reimbursement Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6682

Wynderlon Blunt

Reimbursement Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6683

Help Me Grow

Quality Department

Tameka Mays

Quality Operations Director

EXT - 352-315-6672

Nelida Diop

Infant/Toddler PreK Inclusion Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6674

Megan McQuaid

Professional Development Training Coordinator

EXT - 352-315-6664

Phyllis Beveridge

Early Childhood Specialist

EXT - 352-435-0566 Ext. 118

Shaday Ettison

Early Education Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6676

Rometha Presley

Early Education Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6684

Lawana Tucker

Early Education Specialist

EXT - 352-435-0566


Simone Hylton-Ellis

SR/VPK Compliance Director

EXT - 352-315-7681

Joy Flynn

Compliance Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6686

Myeesha Jackson

Quality Assurance Specialist

EXT - 352-315-6671

Career Opportunities

The Early Learning Coalition of Lake County Employment Advertisements:


Child Developmental Coordinator (Position Closes 7/31/20)

Finance Director (Position Closes 7/31/20)

Fiscal Specialist (Position Closes 7/31/20)

Help Me Grow Care Coordinator (Position Closes 7/31/20)


If you are interested in applying  in applying please click on the link and apply online.