Hattiesburg Early
Learning Collaborative

The Hattiesburg Early Learning Collaborative has eleven sites: Grace Christian Elementary School, Hawkins Elementary School, Rowan Elementary School, Thames Elementary School, Woodley Elementary School, WH Jones Head Start, Tunjia’s Little Ones, TJ’s Learning Center, Therah’s Child Care Center, USM Center for Child Development, and Smart Start Community School. It has served 929 four-year-olds since its founding in 2019.

Number of Classrooms in ELC


Students Served in 2022-2023


Number of Sites in ELC


“Investing in early learning programs helps to provide children with strategies that help them develop the emotional, social, and cognitive skills needed to become lifelong learners.”

— Hope Mikell, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Hattiesburg Public School District

Do you have a four-year-old
in the city of Hattiesburg?

Enroll your four-year-old in the Hattiesburg Early Learning Collaborative.

Want to receive an individual
tax credit?

Learn how to get a tax credit and support the
Hattiesburg Early Learning Collaborative.

About Early Learning Collaboratives

Early learning collaboratives (ELCs) are comprised of school districts, local Head Starts, child care centers, and/or private or parochial schools. Collaboratives offer a high-quality, low- or no-cost pre-K option to families in Mississippi. ELCs are funded through state funds and local matching funds and are overseen by the Mississippi Department of Education.

Learn more about how we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ELC.

We know that kids who attend high-quality pre-K:

Enter kindergarten with stronger literacy, language, math, and social-emotional skills

Are less likely to need special education services, less likely to repeat grades, and more likely to graduate and enroll in college

See stronger employment opportunities and increased earning potential

Are less likely to commit juvenile and adult crimes