Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center expansion to extend early childhood education services to those who need them most

With a mission to enhance the lives of children and their families through quality early childhood education and related services, Child Care of Southwest Florida is expanding the Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center. The Center, located at 4650 Fowler Street in Fort Myers, will transform two of its classrooms to provide space for up to 40 more new students. A kitchen remodel will allow the organization to build upon its healthy food options. The expansion will be complete in early February 2017.

J. H. Messina Children’s Center’s director, Tamara Aronson said, “This remodel will create the ideal classroom environment to deliver our curriculum and continue to engage vibrant preschoolers eager to learn and play. With the transformation of our kitchen, we’re excited to offer healthy food options, use the fresh fruits and veggies from our garden and continue to build upon Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ health campaign.” For children who are enrolled full time, the center offers five meals per day.

Beyond offering the highest level of care for children, Child Care of Southwest Florida is also an advocate for parents and provides services to support their growth as well. A full-time Family Resource Specialist is available to help parents seeking information about college opportunities, loan offerings and more. The center caters to active parents who manage heavy workloads, are seeking employment or are pursuing evening coursework at local colleges. The Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

As an accredited organization through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs, Child Care of Southwest Florida uses Creative Curriculum, a nationally recognized curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment.  This allows teachers to individualize learning based on each child’s specific needs at every age. This type of learning emphasizes a child-centered, project approach to instruction through child exploration, active play and discovery. Children learn by first-hand observation, hands-on experiences, intentional teaching, and personal reflection.


Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. runs six early learning centers that have been accredited by the National Accrediting Council. It helps child care centers qualify for, administer and maintain USDA Child Care Food Programs to provide for the nutritional requirements of early childhood. To ensure the best possible care of children, it also provides DCF Introductory Child Care Training classes and competency exams to promote the continuing education of teachers and other educational professionals. Sponsorship, volunteer and donation opportunities are available to the public. For more information, visit www.ccswfl.org.