Southeastern Pennsylvania Early Childhood Coalition

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Join the Southeastern Pennsylvania Early Childhood Coalition (SEPECC)!

SEPECC serves as an umbrella of organizations supporting the mission of providing high quality early childhood services to all families. It represents child care centers, family child care programs, advocacy groups, training agencies, early care support agencies, and funders who share the goal of coordinating and increasing public support for early care and education. Volunteers from the early childhood community, with organizational support from First Up, provide leadership for the coalition.

Register for Upcoming SEPECC Virtual Meetings

Register for June 28th Virtual SEPECC Meeting

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meetings.

Click below to download our March and April Advocacy Toolkit!

May & June Advocacy Toolkit

Notes from our May 17th SEPECC Virtual Meeting

Links to the 5/17 recording and slides:

Notes from our April 19th SEPECC Virtual Meeting

Links to the 4/19 recording and slides:

Notes from our March 22nd SEPECC Virtual Meeting

Links to the 3/22 recording and slides:

Notes from our February 22nd SEPECC Virtual Meeting

Links to the 2/22 recording and slides:

Notes from our January 25th SEPECC Virtual Meeting

Links to the 1/25 recording and slides:

Notes from our December 21st SEPECC Virtual Meeting

Links to the 12/21 recording and slides:

Notes from our November 16th SEPECC Virtual Meeting

Links to the 11/16 slides:

Notes from our October 12th SEPECC Virtual Meeting

Links to the 10/21 slides:

Notes from our September 21st SEPECC Virtual Meeting

Links to the 9/21 slides:

SEPECC Storyville

Storyville is a place where the youngest among us get the attention they need and deserve. Through the power of true-life storytelling, Eleanor Levie addresses—and hopes to inspire—communities and policymakers. The moral of every story: the importance—and the moral imperative—of quality early childhood programs, fully supported, funded, and accessible.

Eleanor Levie is a volunteer member of the SEPECC Advocacy Committee and a longtime activist for the National Council of Jewish Women. Photography is courtesy of Charles Coe, and photos that include children were taken in 2019, pre-COVID.

Charles Coe: A Vision that Goes Way Beyond Twenty-Twenty

Coe4-200x270Charles Coe is a man of vision. As Executive Director and Founder of the Incredible Kids Learning Center (IKLC), he always has his eye on the prize: high-quality educational environment and programming for little ones as young as 6 weeks old. He aims to set kids up for success from day one.

Ironically, the vision of positivity and passion that informs his life and career springs from a childhood tragedy. When Coe was seven years old, someone threw a rock at him, hitting him in the eye. He was left in a month-and-a-half-long coma, with a fractured nose, traumatic brain injury, and permanent blindness in his left eye.

What would leave most folks with a lifelong handicap was instead, as Coe likes to say, what “propelled me to become the person that I am today.” In fact, he’s a motivational speaker, disabilities advocate, entrepreneur, educator, life skills wellness coach, corporate trainer, intensive clinical case manager, trauma specialist, and mentor. In addition to IKLC, he is the founder and chief operating officer of COE, which riffs on his surname and stands for Creating Opportunities for Empowerment. This new human and social services organization in Atlanta as well as Philadelphia seeks to close the gap between needs and resources for children as well as adults and families.

Coe2-217x270“Indeed, the pandemic didn’t slow things down for us at all,” explains Coe. “It just made me recognize where we needed to go. I knew we could weather the storm. I knew we could continue our expansion.”

As the pandemic stripped away support systems, it also laid bare the inequities of early education. No one knows better than Coe that all kids have a right to quality, and quality costs money. Coe wants to wow the children in his centers from the moment they walk in the door. “A good piece of equipment, that’s gonna spark some kid’s imagination.”

Quality supplies, quality conditions, quality learning environments, all are critically important. Most important of all, kids and their families deserve teachers trained with the latest and smartest in professional development. Ozer is quick with a shout-out. “Charles knows we won’t have quality unless early childhood educators have the compensation they deserve.” And that’s just not there. In managing clinical caseloads, Coe has cited, heartbreakingly, that half the child care providers and pre-K teachers were living below the poverty line. They were just getting by, relying on food stamps, a second job with hours that took they away from tending to their own families. That left them depleted of the passion and energy necessary for nurturing multiple little ones.

Coe1-270x270Coe refuses to settle for this situation, but he hasn’t turned a blind eye to the realities of funding. In Pennsylvania, a state that has been regularly averse to investing in an industry that many legislators equate with babysitting, Coe broadens his view and stays resourceful. “I have never depended on the state. I do all my grant-writing,” he says, having successfully tapped Keystone Stars, Rising Stars, merit grants and more for awards and subsidies.

Tackling every part of the system, Charles Coe is ever insightful and far-seeing. And while he’s a cheerleader and a mentor imbued with positivity, his vision for the world gives everybody a benefit: “If we do right by children, life will do right by you.” And that’s a powerful vision.

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