We believe that education is an important pathway out of poverty and that high-quality early childhood education, family engagement and early social-emotional learning provide the foundation for school success.


IMG_0469Our legacy spans over 30 years, beginning with the creation of First Teacher Magazine. Founded by former teacher and veteran of the educational publishing industry, Lisa Schlakman, First Teacher Magazine was developed in response to early childhood educators’ (including licensed daycare and preschool) urgent need for relevant and useful information to enhance the learning experience of children. Our team of experienced contributing experts—including teachers, parents, and teaching artists—has created a comprehensive library of early childhood resource books and learning programs for major educational publishers, including Random House and Addison Wesley. These materials have been used by hundreds of thousands of people around the country.

Since research has shown that the home is the most important early learning setting, more so than the school or childcare center, ELF has worked extensively with families as well as educators over the years. Lisa Schlakman, ELF program director, is the author of two parenting books: Parents and Kids Together and Special Times for Parents and Kids Together (Warner Books).

In 1994, we launched Everyday TLC, a weekly newsletter to support the huge family child care market—one that had been virtually overlooked and was in desperate need of resources to support their day-to-day work with infants, toddlers, preschool children, and after-schoolers. Until EverydayTLC, family childcare providers had traditionally been thought of as little more than babysitters and there were little or no resource materials geared specifically to their professional needs. (Everyday TLC and First Teacher Magazine merged in 1999 to offer a single, all-inclusive printed resource.) EverydayTLC was quickly identified as an excellent early childhood resource by providers, trainers, and administrators.

In 1999, in response to the growing use of PCs in homes, schools, and libraries, we began the process of creating FamilyTLC.net. Taking three years to create, FamilyTLC.net is the product of 25 years of research and early childhood development experience.

In 2001, Cooking Up Learning, a nutrition education series was developed in response to requests from local USDA food program sponsors for an affordable learn-at-home training option for family childcare providers.

With the coming of the internet, EverydayTLC became available online in the Summer of 2007.


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