Professional Development Institute - Early Learning Coalition

The Professional Development Institute (PDI) is an extension of the Early Learning Coalition’s Professional Development Department, set to improve services, support, and education for young children. Programs enhance early childhood professionals’ knowledge, skills, and professional advancement through various classes, courses, and conferences offered in face-to-face or web-based formats.

Child care providers provide children in their care with well-rounded and appropriate tools to help them develop
into successful learners. We understand many providers can’t afford to stop working to continue their education or certification. We support providers by offering programs and incentives to continue working while advancing their professional goals and education.

The training offered through the Professional Development Institute at the Early Learning Coalition provides high-quality content and support to ensure the implementation of concepts into the classroom. All training with the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards (2017), The Classroom Assessment Scoring System® (CLASS), Florida Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Practitioners, and Florida Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Directors.

The Early Learning Coalition’s Professional Development Department has recently received the CDA Gold Standard
from the Council of Professional Recognition. We have also been approved as an International Association for
Continuing Education and Training (IACET) Accredited Provider.

Training Opportunities

Child Development Associate (CDA) Infant/Toddler Program CLICK HERE

If interested contact, Mallory Akers at

Child Development Associate (CDA) PreSchool Program CLICK HERE

If interested contact Liz McClendon at

Child Development Associate (CDA) Director Program CLICK HERE

If interested contact Jaime Holevas at

Standards Training

Implementing the Florida Standards in Preschool Classrooms:  3 Years Old to Kindergarten.

Click here for dates and times:


FFCCHA 30th Annual Conference

FFCCHA 30th Annual Conference, Enhancing Our Minds in 2022.

Conference dates range from June 22nd – June 26th at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, Clearwater Beach.

Click here for an informational flyer: FFCCHA 30th Annual Conference

VPK Teacher Learning Circle

The University of South Florida College of Education in partnership with the Florida Office of
Early Learning and the Tampa Bay History Center will be hosting a Learning Circle – a free, peerengaged
experience for VPK teachers. The Learning Circle will provide strategies and resources
to foster preschoolers’ exploratory learning and play-based inquiry using interdisciplinary
activities that include community-based historical photographs from the Tampa Bay region that
support Florida’s Early Learning and Developmental Standards (2017).

Click here for more details:  VPK Teacher Learning Circle 

VPK Literacy Training

DCF is offering the following trainings:

  • Scaffolding and Think, Show, Tell, Talk: Language and Vocabulary Development for Preschoolers
  • Phonological Awareness Development for Preschoolers
  • Dialogic Reading: Language and Vocabulary Development for Preschoolers
  • Book Embedded Vocabulary: Language and Vocabulary Development for Preschoolers

Click here for flyer and registration information:  VPK Literacy Training

Directors Cafe'

The Director’s Cafe’ and Administrator’s Circle offers the opportunity to network, strategies and resources and in-service training.

Click here for scheduled dates and Zoom link:  Directors Cafe

Pre-K Director Community of Practice

Pre-K learning can be a lot of fun but it can be hard to keep up with current research and practice.  In the Community of Practice (CoP), each session will look at a different aspect of the Pre-K day and some new strategies to enhance learning.

Click here for scheduled dates and registration form:  Pre-K Director Community of Practice

Pre-K Teacher CoP

There is a lot of fun and learning that is happening in the Pre-K classroom!  In this Community of Practice (CoP), each session will look at strageies and activities in one target area.

Click here for available dates and registration form:  Pre-K Teacher CoP

PKP Tiny Topic Training Series

Help your children and families transistion to Kindergarten!  This is for director’s and teachers of four-year-olds.

Click here for available dates and Zoom link:  PKP Tiny Topic Training Series

Resource Room

Come visit the Early Learning Coalition’s resource room. It is equipped with a laminator, book binder, Ellison Machine, and resource books. Please contact Sharon Dennany at to schedule a time to use the resource room.

See flyer for more details: Clearview Resource Room


Infant, Toddler, or Preschool
Classroom Support

The Early Learning Coalition provides support and guidance to providers in any classroom. We are here to help you improve your quality of care and education, overcome challenges, and/or meet state and local requirements.
For more information, contact Sharon Dennany at


Additional Resources for Providers

Safe Sleep for Babies: What You Need to Know

Breastfeeding and Safe Sleep

Sleep Baby Safely

Gadgets, Guidance & Common Sense

Our Team

Angela Loring
Trainer/Quality Initiatives Manager
Angela holds a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction from USF, and has worked in the early childhood industry for almost 25 years. The birth of her son inspired her to enter the early childhood field. Angela strives to increase child outcomes by providing dynamic training opportunities for early childhood professionals.
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Jaime Holevas
Professional Development Program Supervisor
Jaime has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood/Special Education along with an Infant Toddler Credential and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. For 20 plus years she has been in the early childhood field and was inspired by the endless opportunities teachers have to make a difference. She is committed to inspire, motivate, and support others.
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Sharon Dennany
Admin Specialist II
Sharon is not a native of Florida but has lived in Pinellas County for 50 years. Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of Pinellas has employed her since 2010 as an Administrative Specialist. Her team at ELC's Professional Development Institute keeps her very busy. After 20 years of schooling off and on, she finally received her General AA from St. Petersburg College in 2013. Aside from enjoying her work at ELC, she has many hobbies. Sharon is also a proud mother of a son, daughter, and two granddaughters.
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Mallory Akers
Infant/Toddler Specialist
Mallory is a Florida native and has been in the Pinellas area since 2011. She has been working in the early childcare field for nearly 10 years and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Preschool Studies. Mallory is a certified PreK CLASS Observer and is working toward her certification for Infant and Toddler. She is also in the process of becoming an Early Learning Florida Lastinger Coach as well as a trainer for Making the Most of Classroom Interactions (MMCI). While she has worked with every age group, the majority of her experience is with infants and toddlers, which is her passion. Mallory’s goal is to share her knowledge with teachers in order to help create a more positive and loving environment for the children they care for each day.
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Robin Cooke
Training & Development Specialist
Robin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Community Services and Associates in Early Childhood Education. She has worked in various ECE positions over the past 20 years. Robin is a certified Pre-K, Infant, and Toddler CLASS Observer. She is also a certified Trainer in Nemours Brightstart. Robin wants to continue to share her knowledge and experience with Teachers and Directors, in hopes they will use the strategies and suggestions provided. For the past 10 years, Robin has worked with 8-11 years old at her church. She is an advocate for all children and loves to see them learn and flourish.
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Elizabeth Dixon
Training & Development Specialist
Liz is from Clearwater, FL and has been in the Human Service field for over 26 years. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Services from Springfield College, and is skilled at assisting families with special needs and providing services for preschoolers, school-age children, teens and adults. Liz has worked as a Supportive Intervention Specialist and Inclusion Specialist. Liz is a certified PreK CLASS Observer and a certified MMCI Instructor. Liz is a Trainer for Making the Most of Classroom Interactions(MMCI). Liz is an Early Learning Florida Lastinger Coach. Liz is a mother of three daughters and has five grandsons. In the community she enjoys giving back by doing ministry work and working with the middle school age youth and volunteering at Pinellas County Schools. Liz is actively involved at her church, teaching Vacation Bible School (VBS) to 3 – 5 yrs. old. Liz loves being in this field to inspire others and provide quality services to our providers and families. She believes in making a difference in our future by enhancing the developmental skills in children, building relationships with families and providing Innovative trainings for providers.
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Damaris Rosado-James
Training and Development Specialist
Damaris holds a Master’s of Science in Education with a Bilingual extension from Hunter College in New York City. Over the course of ten years, she was a classroom teacher, with experience in ages 3 to 1st grade. She then became a classroom coach and facilitator, supporting teachers and school leadership in curriculum, assessments, lesson planning and culture & diversity training. In the classroom and in conference rooms, Damaris advocated for longer periods of play for our youngest learners because it is through play that children learn. She was inspired by Mr. Rogers, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
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Brett Engisch
Training & Development Specialist
Brett has taught children and teachers from Pre-Kindergarten to College over the past forty-five years. She has a Master’s in Education and had certifications for Kindergarten, Specific Learning Disabilities and Administration. Children inspire her to see the best in everyone. She commits to find the best ideas for them and their teachers to be successful learners in life.
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Zoe Turner
Training & Development Specialist
Zoe is a graduate of the University of South Florida and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Science Disorders. She has worked as a Speech and Language Therapist as well as an Early Interventionist providing intervention services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays within the community. She is also certified as an Infant and Toddler Development Specialist. Zoe has worked in various roles within the Early Intervention field for over 10 years and is very passionate about helping little ones reach their full potential while building her mastery in these areas. She has served on various committees and initiatives in the community and enjoys volunteering her time and efforts in order to give back to the community. Zoe is committed to working in her current role by supporting early childhood professionals, parents/caregivers, and children in her community.
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Kathleen Moss
Professional Development Trainer
Tammi McGinn
Professional Development Trainer
Tammi McGinn has been in the early childhood education field since 1990. Her love of early education started in a high school lab school, leading her to her current position as Professional Development Trainer and Coach at Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County. Tammi holds a B.S in Family and Child Development and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction. She has held almost every position in the field, from classroom teacher aide to Director and Social-Emotional Development Teacher to Coordinator of an Early Literacy Program at a homeless shelter. In her 32 years in the field, Tammi has always sought to support young children and families in early learning opportunities and teaching staff in quality improvement. She is a Florida transplant from Illinois and has been in the Tampa Bay area since 2013. She is married with four sons, one daughter, one daughter-in-law, and one son-in-law that keeps her busy when not working.
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Provider Trainings & Conferences

May 2022



2536 Countryside Blvd Suite 500, Clearwater, FL 33763

Hours of Operation: M-F, 8:00am – 5:00pm

Processes and Procedures

A. Placements

I. General: 

II. Waitlist:

III. CCAA Process:

B. Enrollments


I. Processing Redeterminations: 

II. Rejections for Redeterminations:

III. Other/General Redetermination Information:

D. Reestablishment Periods/Reviews

E. Transfers

F. Suspended Enrollments

G. Coalition Transfers

H. Social Security

I. SR Plus-Local Funding

Annual Report

Annual Report

Phone and VoiceMail Instructions