early care center (ECC)

(941) 366-9522/ Pay Online Here


Welcome to Early Care Center!


Our Mission Statement

We believe that the Early Care Center of First United Methodist Church is summoned by God to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ by ministering to young children and their families by providing a quality educational program which promotes developmentally appropriate growth: spiritually, physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively.


About the Early Care Center

The Early Care Center is open Monday – Friday 7:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

First United Methodist Church has responded to the need in our community for safe, dependable day care by offering its facilities and enrichment experiences for young children in a Christian environment.The center is open to children of all races and creeds. Presently, Early Care Center serves families with children ages 6 weeks through 5 years of age.


Interested in a Tour?
We are honored to show our facility and accomplishments to anyone interested in our program.  A tour is required prior to enrollment.  Appointments are needed to ensure the availability of a qualified guide. For a tour contact the office at 941- 366-9522 or



Our Programs & Accreditation

Early Care Center is a year-round program. We offer full-time care for Infants – 5 year olds and Voluntary Prekindergarten (August-June).

We are accredited by the United Methodist Association of Preschools (UMAP). This association has strict guidelines for our Christian curriculum as well as standards for environment and staff/child interaction. All preschool and VPK classes attend a worship service once a week and a week of Vacation Bible School in the summer. As a 4+ STAR quality rated school by the Look for the STARS program, we have achieved professional and public recognition as providers of high quality care and education of young children.  Early Care received the 2018 Readers' Choice Award for the Best Preschool from the Sarasota-Herald Tribune.



Infant & Toddler Programs

The ECC infant program is designed to support each child’s needs. The “open door” policy allows parents total access to their child. The infants are cared for by a team approach with parents and staff working together for the benefit of each child and his/her family.

Our program recognizes the importance of the premise that “Parents are the child’s first teachers.” We practice the “Safe Sleep” program, recommending that placing infants on their backs to sleep is the safest way for them to sleep until they are physically capable of rolling over by themselves.

Our toddler curriculum includes activities to meet the individual child’s needs.
The children are slowly introduced to this curriculum philosophy as they begin to explore their world. The Learning Center approach to educating young children is introduced in the Dolphin Room. Developmentally appropriate activities are planned to encourage independence and self-esteem.


6 weeks - 18 months: $210.00/week
18 months - 30 months: $200.00/week  

Preschool Program

Our goal is to offer a warm and loving environment in which each child can grow at his or her own pace. The program is designed to provide for the physical, social, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth of the young child. By giving children the opportunity to participate in activities that are developmentally appropriate for them, they can grow to become unique individuals. We encourage each child to develop a good self-concept with the belief that he or she is special. We strive to support the individual child and help him or her to cooperate with others, solve problems, and learn to make choices with regards to his or her environment.

We offer extra programs such gymnastics. Kristi Mezick, our gross motor coach, visits the school weekly to provide gymnastic instruction to all of our preschool and VPK students.  This extra curricular activity is included in your tuition.


2.5 year - 3.5 year: $190.00/week
3.5 year - 4.5 year: $180.00/week



Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program

 First United Methodist Church has responded to the need in our community for a quality VPK Program by offering its facilities and enrichment experiences to children in a Christian environment. Early Care Center is open to children of all races and creeds.

It is the goal of the VPK program to focus on those skills needed for your child to make a smooth transition into kindergarten. VPK Also:

  • Provides a safe and healthy environment
  • Is staffed with loving, qualified teachers
  • Encourages early literacy and creative expression
  • Provides new learning experiences
  • Provides social opportunities
  • Encourages self-esteem with positive reinforcements

4 - 5 year: (child must be 4 by Sept 1)

Full Time: $185.00/week FT
                    $145.00/week FT (
with VPK voucher)

Part Time: $80.00/week PT (with VPK voucher)
                     $145.00/week PT (when VPK is not in session)

3 Hour Only: (9 - 12)  Free (with VPK voucher during School year only) 

For more information about VPK or how to recieve a voucher,visit 

The Early Learning Coalition Of Sarasota County by Clicking Here


While we focus on preparing your child for the classroom learning environment, we emphasize just how much fun learning can be! Sure we will be counting and talking about colors… but perhaps it will be bugs, or butterflies, or dinosaurs that will be discussed. Each week your child’s teacher will provide you with a theme-based curriculum sheet so you can keep up to date on the activities your child will be learning about and discussion points to help you stay actively involved in your child’s education. There is no doubt that your child is going to experience a wide variety of activities at Early Care Center - everything from finger painting, to tasting new foods, to learning letters, to singing songs, to playing on the computer. One thing is for certain - we have something to offer every child!



The foundation of our lesson plans comes from Creative Curriculum, a hands-on, thematic approach to learning. Our Christian elements come from Deep Blue Kids and Kindness Curriculum. Another component of the lesson plans comes from
Florida Standards Birth to 4 and Standards for VPK (Voluntary Prekindergarten). The children are assessed twice a year.
Individual Education plans (IEPs) are incorporated into the lessons for the final piece. All of the components combine to create a developmentally appropriate experience for the children we

Christian Education

All preschoolers attend chapel one day a week. The lessons are based on our weekly curriculum. Feel free to join us for this event.

The summer week  of Vacation Bible School is free for all children age 3-5th grade.  Themes vary from year to year.



Parents are requested to provide their child's formula/milk or nutritious lunch.  Suggestions for lunch ideas can be found on  Refrigerators and microwaves (for reheating only) are available in every classroom.

The center provides nutritious mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.

Accommodations for breast feeding are happily provided.





Early Care Center Staff

The United Methodist Association of Preschools (UMAP) requires that each teacher of children two years and older be certified in one of the following ways:

Degree from 2 or 4 year college with at least 6 credits in Early Childhood

6 college credits in Early Childhood and 3 years of preschool teaching experience

Vocational Certificate in Early Childhood Education.

All of our staff is certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED. Each person is required to receive 24 hours of in-service training each year so their skills will motivate and challenge your child.


ECC Director Sue Loncaric

Sue has been employed by ECC since 1991, becoming the director in 1998. She holds a Child Development Associate Credential and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Consumer and Family Services from Purdue University. She is currently
pursuing her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Leadership

Early Care Teachers make the difference!

The Early Care Center staff is recruited for their abilities to work
well with children. Employment is nondiscriminatory as relates to religion, race, and national origin. Active interchange between the church and the ECC staff contributes strongly to the positive relationship between the church congregation and Early Care Center.


Interested in making a difference in the life of a child? Consider a career in early childhood education at Early Care Center!

Click here for an application.

Contact Us

Phone: 941-366-9522


104 S. Pineapple Ave
Sarasota, FL 34236

License #580300082

2019 - 2020 Important Dates

11/28/19             Thanksgiving

11/29/19             Thanksgiving Holiday

12/24/19             Christmas Eve

12/25/19             Christmas Day

12/31/19             New Year’s Eve

01/01/20             New Year’s Day 

01/20/20             Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

01/21/20             Professional Day

02/21/20             Professional Day – UMAP Conference

04/10/20             Good Friday

05/25/20             Memorial Day

07/03/20             Independence Day (Recognized)

08/07/20             Professional Day (estimated)