At Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, our steadfast commitment to providing safe, quality and affordable education remains unwavering. Our primary goal is to prepare children for kindergarten, ensuring that they are ready to read and ready to learn.

In our Fall 2023 Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment, we identified a concern: 48% of our students scored below expectations in social and emotional development. This highlighted the urgent need for intervention and support to nurture their holistic growth. Since then, we proudly report that 72% of our students meet or exceed expectations.

To address these challenges, we've embraced holistic teaching strategies that promote emotional regulation, positive behavior management and social skills development. By fostering a nurturing and supportive learning environment, we aim to empower children and families, equipping them with essential life skills and alleviating stress for children and their caregivers.


With the implementation of these approaches across all four of our early learning centers, we're striving to cultivate a safer, more supportive environment where children can flourish. Our commitment extends to serving children aged two weeks to 5 years, encompassing approximately 328 children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.


Collaborating with educators, program directors, parents and caregivers, we endeavor to nurture a supportive environment for young children. Together, we are committed to fostering children's holistic development and supporting families on their journey to self-sufficiency.


Thank you for your ongoing support as we continue our mission to positively impact the lives of children and families in our community.

Warm regards,


FTA Receives Local Media Coverage

In April, FTA was featured twice in local media coverage. On April 5, our 2024 Superhero-themed gala attendees graced the pages of the Naples Press Guest List column. Although our event took place in February, the purpose and spirit of it proved timeless. Local readers were treated to seeing your many smiling faces and colorful and creative costumes, all of which made for a memorable and successful fundraising event.

Additionally, FTA appeared on the pages of the Naples Florida Weekly on April 18. This time columnist Joe Landon shone a spotlighted on our recent expansion on Santa Barbara Boulevard and gave readers some highlights of our treasured history and mission in his "Making a Difference" column. To read his full article, click here.

FTA Awarded $25,000 Grant by

The Women's Giving Circle of Southwest Florida

We are pleased and honored to announce that we have recently been awarded a $25,000 grant by the Women’s Giving Circle (WGC) of Southwest Florida. FTA was selected to receive the grant based on the Conscious Discipline Curriculum delivery. The Conscious Discipline Curriculum utilizes everyday events to cultivate emotional intelligence through a self-regulation program that integrates social-emotional learning and discipline. The grant runs from May 1, 2024, to April 30, 2025, and will provide funding to serve our children and parents.  

WGC co-chairs Marty Howard and Noreen Thomas explained, “The Fun Time Academy proposal was selected to support our mission of improving the quality of the lives of disadvantaged women and their families in Southwest Florida and our focus this year on children’s health and well-being.” 

Thank you, Women's Giving Circle, for all you do for our community and for supporting our mission to deliver quality, affordable early childhood education and care to those who might not have access otherwise.

FTA Receives Additional $170,000 Grant from

Naples Children & Education Foundation

We are pleased to announce that we have recently been awarded an additional grant of $170,000 by the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF). This grant award will support teacher salaries and provide funding to renovate the kitchen at our recently acquired location on Santa Barbara Boulevard, which serves 85 children age one to five. Since the finalization of an asset transfer at the location in February, FTA has been undertaking several renovations to bring the facility up to FTA standards and provide a safer, more inspiring and more complete learning environment for the children. This grant follows another recent NCEF award of $275,000 to assist with expanding Fun Time’s services to additional children hosted at two new locations - Poinciana Elementary School and Golden Gate High School.   

Thank you, Naples Children & Education Foundation, for supporting quality early learning. The partnerships with all the organizations you support make a significant impact on the children in our community.

The Naples Children & Education Foundation, the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is improving the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted close to 90 of the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing more than 300,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel. NCEF’s unique approach, which emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time.

Middleburg Books Donates 94 Books for 94 Years

The children at our Santa Barbara Boulevard location were elated when a collection of 94 books arrived from Middleburg Books in late March. The donation was in celebration of longstanding supporter and friend of Fun Time Academy, Gene Frey, in honor of his 94th Birthday. These books made for the perfect addition to our newest location and will bring joy and learning to children for years to come. Thank you to Mary Beth Morrell, CEO and Founder of Middleburg Books, for this thoughtful and generous donation.

The Easter Bunny Makes a Surprise Visit to FTA

Easter falls on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the spring equinox. In 2024, that meant that it came earlier than usual, but that did not stop the Easter Bunny from hopping his way into all four of our locations. The children were delighted by his visit and, in true FTA fashion, welcomed him with open arms and smiles. A huge thank you to our kitchen assistant Steve Ecker for taking on the role at the last minute and bringing joy to all children.

Full STEAM Ahead with C'mon

Golisano Children's Museum of Naples

Recently, our friends from C'mon Golisano Children's Museum of Naples began a six-week educational outreach program to deliver STEM-focused lessons to our Downtown and Golden Gate VPK classes. During the most recent lesson about manatees and their environment, the children were given the opportunity to create their very own Save the Manatee posters. Thank you, C'MON, for helping us to make learning fun.

Teacher Spotlight - Elizabeth Pedregal

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Pedregal, and I am a teacher at Fun Time Academy's downtown location. In my time here, I have noticed a wide variety of opportunities for relationship/skill-building taking place in classrooms among teachers, students and their families. I believe any benefits brought upon a child from Fun Time also benefit their family and others in this community. We work to fostered a strong sense of community where all the children and their families feel welcomed as a part of the ever-increasing Fun Time family. 

This sense of belonging is important for developing children; these interactions will help them create strong and secure relationships that will, in turn, build their social-emotional skills, critical thinking and language skills. 


The Fun time community is not only pertinent to children's development but also gives families a safe space to leave their children while they participate in other community activities like parent seminars, as well as engaging with their children's teachers in conferences to discuss plans for their children and home life. We provide resources that help these families provide the best home care for their children. 


This is, in summary, what I love about working at Fun Time. I feel as though I am making a difference when I take my time to meet with each individual parent about his or her child, creating bonds and relationships with my students that I hope they never forget. Through this effort, I foster a sense of security and trust for the children and their families. 

How to Enroll in VPK

Fun Time Families Shower Us With Happiness

Our at-home projects continue to be a big success! This month, we expanded them to our Santa Barbara location. Smiles were abundant throughout our classrooms as the children showed off the umbrella they decorated, described the colors and continued to grow in their language skills. Our Fun Time families truly shower us with happiness.

Volunteer Spotlight: Monica Reilly

Monica Reilly has been volunteering at Fun Time Academy for several years. She has brought joy every week as she visits the classrooms, sings songs, plays her guitar and sparks a love of music and movement with our children. Each Wednesday, you can hear the class cheering joyfully when she walks into their room, excited to sing with the students. Ms. Monica has truly brought a love of music to our downtown location, and we look forward to her visits every week. Ms. Cester, a longstanding teacher at Fun Time Academy, states, "I love everything about Ms. Monica. She has a kind spirit, and the children love her. I have known her for many years, and every year she's sweeter than the year before." 

Volunteer Appreciation Brunch

On April 12, FTA hosted a volunteer appreciation brunch at our downtown location. Volunteers were presented with certificates of appreciation for their dedication in aiding students in their early childhood development. Stories were shared about the deep connections made with the children and their individual growth over the past year.

Our volunteers are an integral part of our success and have a lasting impact on the children whom they tutor. Their dedication goes further than aiding our children academically. Our volunteers spend time connecting with the students on a human level and helping to further develop their social and emotional skills.

We cannot thank our volunteers enough for their dedication and love for our FTA children.

"Thank you to all the volunteers for the amazing job you have done working with our students here at Fun Time. All of our kids truly love working with every one of you!" - Candace Perez, FTA Teacher

"Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers. You all make such a difference in the children's lives." - Michelle Fonte, FTA Teacher

"Our children truly look forward to seeing you each time you visit. Thank you for everything you do!" - Elizabeth Pedregal, FTA Teacher

Meet Our New Board Member

Fun Time Academy is delighted to welcome Thomas F. Gayer, III, to its Board of Directors. This addition further enhances our commitment to providing affordable, quality care and education for low-income working families and children.

Thomas serves as a Financial Advisor and First Vice President at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. He works with retirees and those nearing retirement. He believes that maintaining the client’s current lifestyle is his primary objective. He combines his business experience and the resources of Janney’s wealth management professionals to help guide his clients through the challenges of investing to accomplish their unique goals within their risk tolerances.

Thomas started his business career in 1973 with the JCPenney Co. in New York City as a buyer trainee and left in 1983 as a textile buyer. He entered the wealth management profession in 1999 with Prudential Securities, which was bought by Wachovia Securities in the early 2000s. He then moved to RBC Wealth Management in April 2009 and joined Janney in May 2015.

A graduate of the University of Dayton, Thomas holds a degree in Business. He has been married for over 30 years to his wife, Cindy, and they have two children. Thomas is a former board member of Opera Naples, a supporter of the Sarasota Fines Arts Association, and a member of The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art of New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. He is an active member of the North Naples Rotary.

Cocktails and Conversation - Board and Emeriti Event

On April 8, Sue and Gene Frey graciously hosted a reception for FTA board and emeriti members at Moorings Park Grande Lake. Executive Director Jessica Campbell, along with our staff, gave a presentation on the latest developments at FTA, along with success stories from each location. Board Chair Kris Pfaehler recognized board member Bob Pollizzotto for going above and beyond at our new Santa Barbara location. In addition, Thomas Gayer III was introduced as the board's newest member.

Thank you to all who attended, and for those of you who couldn't make it, we look forward to seeing you at another event soon. Thank you again to Sue and Gene Frey for hosting this wonderful gathering. If you would like to see more photos from the event, click the button below.

Event photos

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Thank You!

Your commitment to Fun Time Early Childhood Academy allows us to provide safe, quality, affordable education and care for children and parents from low-income working families and to prepare the children for kindergarten, ready to read and ready to learn!

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