Children First named one of top workplaces in Sarasota and Manatee counties for fourth consecutive year

Nonprofit achieves national accolade

For the fourth consecutive year, Children First has been recognized as a top employer in the Sarasota-Manatee Top Workplaces competition, the nonprofit has announced.

Sponsored by Energage and the Sarasota-Herald Tribune, the competition honors organizations “that demonstrate workplace excellence and are known for recruiting and retaining the best and brightest employees,” a news release explains.

“The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by Energage,” the release points out.

“Earning a Top Workplaces award is a badge of honor for companies, especially because it comes directly from their employees,” said Eric Rubino, CEO of Energage, in the release. “In today’s market, leaders must ensure they are allowing employees to have a voice and be heard. Top Workplaces do this, and it pays dividends,” he added in the release.

“This award is so meaningful because it reflects our employees’ deep commitment to the mission of Children First,” said that organization’s CEO, Philip Tavill, in the release. “Even during what has been a tumultuous time, our staff have remained focused on providing the best possible learning environment for our young children,” Tavill continued in the release. “Together, we have created a wonderful and rewarding place for our employees to come to work, and the best possible place for our children and their families to learn. We are seeking our future Children First superstars to come and join us as a Top Workplace!”

“With 4,126 employees participating across three award categories, Children First was one of only 22 organizations to be named as a Top Workplace in Sarasota-Manatee,” the release points out. Additionally, Tavill earned a special award for his leadership, it notes.

Children First also received a national award through Top Workplaces USA, for Culture Excellence in Professional Development, a special recognition for companies that focus on developing their employees’ careers and enabling them to grow professionally, the release points out.

“The Children First mission is to strengthen children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being,” the release explains. “Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance” to children from low-income families, from birth to age 5, the release adds. “It holds the distinction of being a four-time designated Head Start Program of Excellence and is ranked in the top 1% out of more than 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, the release notes.

For more information about Children First, call 941-953-3877 or visit