Forum Corner

Forum Receives Family Friendly Workplace Recognition

The Children’s Forum was recognized this year as a Family Friendly Workplace by the City of Tallahassee. As part of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s Family First Initiative, this distinction is awarded to businesses that go above and beyond legal requirements to provide notable incentives for their employees. The Forum provides flexible work schedules, parental leave, paid time off, family health insurance, flexible spending accounts, livable wages, opportunities for professional development, and employee recognitions/celebratory events. Forum employees Denise Bishop and Lisa Roberts were pleased to serve on the Mayor’s Family Friendly Employers and Culture Task Force. 

Child Care WAGE$® FLORIDA Program Now Offered in Pinellas County

The Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County has agreed to offer the Child Care WAGE$® FLORIDA program to early childhood educators in targeted high-need communities. Administered by the Children’s Forum, WAGE$ rewards early childhood educators with salary supplements based on their education and commitment to their employer. The program is designed to increase compensation, education, and retention, all of which improve quality in early education classrooms and provide a foundation for ongoing success.

T.E.A.C.H. Ambassador Spotlight: Dana Crupi 

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program (T.E.A.C.H.) is helping to establish a well-qualified, fairly-compensated and stable workforce for Florida’s children. Funded by the Florida Office of Early Learning and operated by the Children’s Forum, T.E.A.C.H. provides scholarships for early childhood educators to work towards an Associate, Bachelor, or Master’s Degree in early childhood education, a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, a Florida Staff Credential, a Director Credential, or credential renewals.

The Forum created the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Ambassador Program to create a local network of professionals who represent T.E.A.C.H. by explaining the benefits of the scholarship program, answering questions, providing support at local conferences and meetings to increase community outreach and maximize the impact of T.E.A.C.H. scholarships throughout Florida. Dana Crupi, Operations and Program Officer for the Early Learning Coalition of Osceola County is one such T.E.A.C.H. Ambassador who went above and beyond in promoting T.E.A.C.H. in her community.

Dana is a strong collaborator and believes community partnership is a vital component to maximizing resources and overall success. She is a passionate child advocate and works tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of Osceola’s youngest citizens. Recently, Dana coordinated a local job fair for the Early Learning Coalition of Osceola County. She engaged child care programs that were already T.E.A.C.H. sponsors. These programs recruited potential teachers who were able to begin a career pathway with their employer. Congratulations, Dana! Your efforts are helping to prepare young children for success in school and in life.

To learn more about T.E.A.C.H., call 877-FL-TEACH or visit