HILTON HEAD SC 29926-4155
Contact Information
Organization DBA (Doing Business As)
Organization DBA
The Children's Center
HILTON HEAD , SC 299264155
Telephone (843) 681-2739
Fax (843) 6813875
Projected Annual Revenue $1,356,162.00 (2018)
Web and Social Media
HHI Fire & Rescue cool down the children on a hot summer day.
Mission Statement
  Mission...What are we here to do?

Providing affordable high quality early childhood education and child care services for working families.

Vision...Where are we going?

Being the standard of excellence for child development and care in the lowcountry.

Purpose...Why we exist.

Ensuring every child is ready to achieve success upon entering kindergarten.

CEO/Executive Director Jody L Levitt
Board Chair Mr John A. Howe
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired - Financial Planning
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1967
Former Names
Child and Youth Development Center1967
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Revenue vs Expenses Area Graph - All Years

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
  Mission...What are we here to do?

Providing affordable high quality early childhood education and child care services for working families.

Vision...Where are we going?

Being the standard of excellence for child development and care in the lowcountry.

Purpose...Why we exist.

Ensuring every child is ready to achieve success upon entering kindergarten.


The Children’s Center, Inc. is a unique not-for-profit organization that provides working families affordable and accessible early childhood education and childcare services. The Children’s Centers’ mission is to make high quality early education and childcare services available and affordable for working families – giving children a great start to life. The Children’s Centers’ multicultural, bilingual early childhood education program is provided five days a week, year round, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  All children receive nutritious home made meals, including breakfast, lunch and snack daily included with tuition.

Our goal is to provide a learning environment that enhances the multi-dimensional development of each child. The Children’s Center offers families a sliding scale tuition program, based on household income.  Fifty years ago, our founders designed a program to help families afford care for their children while they were away at work.  This remains the central focus of our mission, but the Center has evolved from serving 15 children in day care to serving over 170 with quality early education programming. Our programs focus on each child’s development in social-emotional growth, gross and fine motor skills, language and literacy, mathematic and cognitive advancement.  The Children’s Center uses Teaching Strategies GOLD®, approved by the State Department of Education, as a measurement tool to ensure our children are developing the appropriate skills to be ready for kindergarten.  


The Children’s Center, Inc. is a remarkable not-for-profit organization that provides the working families from across the Lowcountry affordable and accessible early childhood education and childcare services. The majority of the Center’s children are from the working families in our community. 

Each family’s tuition is based upon a sliding fee scale with a subsidized scholarship program that is unique to the area. The Center calculates each family's tuition rate individually according to their household size and their gross monthly income. Using a specially designed excel matrix that, once data is entered, results in a tuition rate that subsidizes a family up to 30% off of our full fees.

Infant care is another unique community need our center fulfills. We are one of the only licensed providers offering infant care, beginning at 6 weeks, in our community. Being unable to work because an infant has no place for care can be a significant burden on the family income stream.

The Children’s Center has aggressively adopted a philosophy of educational excellence in tandem with our focus on quality care. We achieve this goal through the use of The Creative Curriculum-Teaching Strategies in our education programs. TS - Gold is a research-based system, available in English and Spanish, offering comprehensive resources to help early childhood educators build exceptional high-quality programs. It offers complete support for teachers and children. Through this program, we are able to build a strong foundation for kindergarten and beyond.



Being the second oldest non-profit organization on the island, we have a strong foundation and a bright future. Because we offer families the opportunity to pay at a level that fits their income, we look to the community to fill the gap in tuition through our Building Blocks scholarship program, supporting tuition assistance dollars. A full year scholarship is only $2400.  

The Children's Center provides quality after school and summer programs for our school-aged children through 2nd grade.  These programs focus on math and literacy retention throughout the school year and especially over the summer.  Support of our summer learning loss program is another ongoing need.  Our goal is to have our children retain and increase their math and literacy skills over the summer, helping them re-enter the classroom positioned for success in their next grade.

Our Center maintains a strong focus on early childhood education. Recently designated a B+ facility by ABC Quality standards, we need funds for maintaining our classroom curriculum and supplies. Our teachers require ongoing continuing education and training, supported through grants and contributions.

The need for male role models is a challenge faced by our organization. When we have men willing to spend time in the classroom, reading or playing with the children, it is a win-win for everyone. All Volunteers are welcome and celebrated here at The Children’s Center.

The community stepped to the plate with funding to build a top quality facility. We desire to be prepared by establishing a building and facility fund to finance upkeep and repair. The goal of this fund is to maintain a balance of at least $5,000 annually to cover unbudgeted repair and replacement needs.


CEO/Executive Director Statement

There are so many worthy nonprofit organizations in our community – right?! What makes The Children’s Center so special?  All you need to do is walk through the front door and look into a classroom. Children are happy and engaged, teachers are committed and involved and families chose us because they are confident in our ability to care for their children.

We offer a sliding scale tuition that allows working parents to afford care for their children, but no one would come if they did not believe that their most precious gift – their child – was being loved and cared for, even if it meant quitting their job. There is not a more dedicated group of people as those who are part of our teaching staff. Not one of our teachers looks at their daily activities as “just their job,” they feel the mission and believe they are making an important impact in the lives of the children, building a foundation for success for their future. There is passion in our walls and single-mindedness of mission by everyone at TCC.

On April 1, of this year, The Harvard University Center on the Developing Child held a symposium, “Striving and Thriving: A New Era in Global Child Health and Development.” Experts identified risk factors affecting early childhood development. Among them were poverty, poor nutrition and lack of appropriate educational stimulation and caregiving. According to the National Education Association, “Early childhood education: one of the best investments our country can make. Research shows that providing a high quality education for children before they turn five yields significant long-term benefits.” One well-known study, found that children who were enrolled in a quality preschool program ultimately earned up to $2,000 more per month than those who were not. Young people who were in preschool programs are more likely to graduate from high school, to own homes, and have longer marriages.

We are celebrating 50 yearsof community service.  AS we begin to build a bridge into the next 50, and build a vision for the future, a future that involves growth in our ability to reach more children and support more families here in the Lowcountry. Our future includes expansion of our commitment to advance the educational component of our daily activities that are age appropriate, engagement oriented and individualized for each child. Most importantly, our future will open additional opportunities for The Children’s Center to be a model of excellence in early childhood education – making a commitment to our community to offer nothing but the best!
Board Chair Statement

I have seen many places that educate children, at The Children’s Center I see people that love what they do, that are engaged in the original mission of our founders and who see a bright future ahead for our community because they make a difference in the lives of children.

I came to visit the Center and was given a tour, walking into the classrooms; I was immediately greeted by the smiling faces and the happy giggles of children as they hugged me and welcomed me into their space. These children want only to be loved and give it in return. I WAS HOOKED!

I am honored to serve as the board chair, but it is with the support of dedicated and committed trustees that we continue to remain a strong organization. We have faced our share of challenges and understand our responsibility to those we serve and those who provide our much appreciated funding. We understand the importance of taking care of the children for those who keep our homes beautiful through landscaping and cleaning or who build a strong foundation in the construction of our home or office. We understand the need of the cooks and waitresses who prepare and serve to know that their child is safe and secure. We gladly assume the responsibility for ensuring the infant of the nurse in the ER or at the urgent care can focus on your needs because their baby is being rocked by our capable staff.

Our annual operating budget is $1,400,000, of which 50% comes from tuition paid by the families of our children. We also receive federal assistance to provide meals and snacks for each child daily, representing another 10% of our revenue. Some of our families qualify for tuition assistance from the state of South Carolina through the ABC program, this accounts for another 11% of our revenue. The remaining 29% in necessary funding comes from our community through personal donations and local grants.

We believe we are a hidden asset in the Hilton Head – Bluffton community. Raising awareness is an ongoing challenge, but one we are committed to achieving. As a board, we desire to expand our reach in the Lowcountry, offering the opportunity for more families to experience our educational programs.

We are proud that the board has actively and enthusiastically adopted a new focus on early childhood education in conjunction with quality care. We have adopted South Carolina’s First Steps to school readiness initiative. Most recently being designated as a First Steps 4K Center. The 4K program is designed to expand full-day 4 year old kindergarten availability. Approved 4K classrooms offer a 6.5 hour school day, 180 days per year. We have also adopted the Creative Curriculum, Teaching Strategies Gold curriculum in all our classrooms. The Creative Curriculum system, with English and Spanish editions, helps us create a high-quality learning environment that enables every child to become a creative, confident thinker. These curriculum offerings are tied directly to the Beaufort County School District programs in the Early Childhood Centers.

We invite you to learn more about this hidden treasure in our community. Visit – Volunteer – will be glad you did!
Areas of Service
Beaufort County
Colleton County
Hampton County
Jasper County

Our traditional programs serve children from 6 weeks of age until they turn 6 years old. We also have a 4K program which is a SC Child Early Reading Development and Education Program (CERDEP) providing full-day four-year-old-kindergarten programs in 64 South Carolina school districts.  Enrollment is offered at no cost to eligible children.  We offer before and after school care for children through age 8. During the summer we serve children six to eight years of age in our summer camp program. We serve students from multiple counties in the lowcountry, but the majority are from Beaufort County.

Board Chair
Board Chair Mr John A. Howe
Company Affiliation Retired - Financial Planning
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2018
Board of Directors
Larry Brown Retired
Tom Conner Community Volunteer
Deborah Gould HR Professional
Paul Heitmann Painting and Maintenance
John Howe Community Volunteer
Carl Jones Community Volunteer
Karen Kirby Community Volunteer
Norman (Jake) Kriney Retired Executive
Allan LaCoe Community Volunteer
Robert Lembo Community Volunteer
Robert Mason Retired
Christine McKeag Retired
Barbara Pawlishyn Retired
Bobby Riggs Retired
Edwina Sanders Community Volunteer
Mary Scott Community Volunteer
Tim Stehly Retired
Walter Wheeler Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 12
Female 6
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 81%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director/CEO Jody L Levitt

Before moving to HHI, Jody served 23 years as president of her local Junior Achievement organization and then worked at the local community college as the coordinator for a $1.6 million grant for alternative energy education. As president of Junior Achievement, she was responsible for operations of a 3-county area to providing economic education programs that built financial literacy, work readiness & entrepreneurship skills for kindergarten through grade 12 students. Her role included: ensuring revenue through management of fundraising activities, building relationships with both business and education leadership, oversight of staff and accountability to local board of directors.

At the community college, Jody’s career took a different twist. A group of 10 colleges and universities, including Penn State, Ohio State and Kettering worked together through the support of a national science foundation grant. Jody was selected by college leadership to design and oversee a decentralization process of contract training and community education division of the college. She worked with all divisions across college to train and support these new functions, providing leadership and guidance to division liaisons, overseeing marketing efforts, and was first point of contact for students and corporate partners.

Senior Staff
Tymeshia Gadson Education Manager
Full Time Staff 34
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 35
Contractors 1
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2016
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Diversity Policy Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Organization of the YearHilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce2010
Description Teaching Strategies GOLD is an approach to early childhood assessment. It is an assessment tool available to teachers that is user-friendly and inclusive, it enables teachers to increase the effectiveness of their assessments while having more time to spend with children.

It can be used with any developmentally appropriate early childhood curriculum and is based on 38 research-based objectives that include predictors of school success and are aligned with the Common Core State Standards, state early learning guidelines, and the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. These help teachers focus on what matters most for children’s success.

Short Term Success

The initial assessment was completed in March 2015 with 68.6% of children meeting or exceeding overall standards. There are 6 assessment areas, of those, 2 have no children currently assessed because they are not at that developmental level yet. Only 1 area had 80% of children meeting or exceeding standards. The other 3 have varying levels of attainment. Using this baseline measurement, we will be able to determine if the percent of children meeting and exceeding standards is increasing. We will also be able to assess each child’s individual progress.

Long Term Success The goal of using this approach to early childhood education is to ensure the children enrolled at The Children's Center are prepared for kindergarten and beyond.  
Strategy Yes
Program Success Monitored BY Teachers daily complete observational assessments for each child, with quarterly "Check Points" that provide formal assessment.

Children who don’t participate in meaningful summer experiences can fall behind, this is called the “summer slide.”  When it comes to summer learning loss, math takes one of the biggest hits.  In reading, summer learning loss can account for almost two thirds of the ninth grade achievement gap.  Much of the achievement gap between disadvantaged youth and their peers can be explained by summer learning loss in elementary school.   

We recognize that children need both time to relax and intervention to avoid the learning loss experienced when school is out for the summer. We expect forty-five children to enroll for Summer Camp this year are ages 5 – 9 and each day is packed with specific activities that are designed to minimize the loss of math and reading skills over the summer.

Budget $36,000.00
Short Term Success

During the first week of camp, teachers use an age appropriate assessment, one for math and another for reading, to document each child’s current skill level. Our goal is for each child at camp to maintain or increase his or her skill levels, upon returning to school in August. Children are reading every day, having library visits and enjoying special book times with volunteers. Through activities such as cooking, beading or building with Legos, math skills are reinforced. Each day of camp offers a different theme and each theme includes skill reinforcement activities. Using the same assessment tools at the end of the summer we can evaluate the success of this newly updated program. Not less than 85% of enrolled children maintain their current math and literacy skill while at The Children’s Center for Summer Camp.

Long Term Success

Ensuring all our summer school children enter their next grade level in August with enhanced math and literacy skills is the long term goal of our program.  We desire to be a standard of excellence for providing an engaging summer camp that allows children time to relax and the necessary stimulus to enjoy learning, thus enhancing their skills.

Program Success Monitored BY

2018 is the third year we have focused on summer learning loss in our Summer Camp program.  In the first year we used Teaching Strategies GOLD as an assessment tool and while it showed students showed no learning loss over the summer, we were not comfortable that the tool was appropriate for the age groups we were assessing.  Last summer we used stand-alone assessments that were age appropriate yet simple to grade and track.  Based on lessons learned in 2016, the teachers designed new lessons such as grocery shopping and a summer reading contest. 

Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year 2018
Projected Revenue $1,356,162.00
Projected Expenses $1,389,385.00
Endowment Value $49,500.00
Spending Policy N/A
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$160,715$184,580$172,855
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$2,051$32$122
Membership Dues----$0
Special Events--$11,410$0
Revenue In-Kind----$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,363,407$1,421,562$1,291,224
Administration Expense$171,288$125,255$138,433
Fundraising Expense----$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.980.991.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%92%90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$4,004,393$4,034,701$4,029,391
Current Assets$502,157$408,381$296,740
Long-Term Liabilities--$23,090$15,848
Current Liabilities$31,707$12,528$0
Total Net Assets$3,972,686$3,999,083$4,013,543
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities15.8432.60--
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%1%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Registration Yes May 2018
HILTON HEAD , SC 299264155
Primary Phone (843) 681-2739
CEO/Executive Director Jody L Levitt
Board Chair Mr John A. Howe
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired - Financial Planning
Year of Incorporation 1967
Former Names
Child and Youth Development Center