We are on the precipice of a timely opportunity in Wisconsin and the United States – an opportunity to completely transform the early care and education landscape through the Build Back Better bill making its way through the U.S. House and Senate. We’re incredibly...
The Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEESSN) is a fast-growing alliance of over 135 early care and education programs (center-based and family child care homes) across Southern Wisconsin. This network launched with two rural ECE programs in January...
The Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA) would like to take a collective pause to thank the tireless efforts of those working in the education field, particularly the early care and education workforce before another pandemic school year starts. During the past 18 months of incredible challenge, there have been essential educators and caregivers in every corner of the state who have shown up for Wisconsin’s children and families. This is and will forever be one of the most important roles a person can play in shaping the future. Our communities could not function, nor families prosper, nor children thrive without the effort our educators and caregivers bring to their profession each and every day. Educators and caregivers of Wisconsin – we see you; we appreciate you; and we are fighting for you. Our friends here at WECA wanted to share their love letters to you below. Put your feet up and bask in the admiration we have for you.
Where are we in the federal budget process? It’s complicated. Let’s start with what is known for certain. Fiscal year 2021 ends September 30, which means that either Congress needs to approve annual appropriations bills for FY2022 before September 30 or enact an...
The Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEESSN), connecting center-based and family child care programs together to collaboratively tackle challenges that face the sector, is expanding its reach. This network has been active since January of 2019,...
The good news is that the President and Congress are talking about large investments in child care and preschool. Families have long struggled with the cost of child care. Therefore, it’s good to see interest from the Administration and Congress to address affordability for families. The American Families Plan, as proposed by the President, would invest $225 billion to make child care more affordable and to improve the quality of child care over the next 10 years.
While Worthy Wage Day always invokes a myriad of feelings, 2020 was likely one of our darkest tributes to this cause. With COVID-19 spreading across the state and the world, early care and education programs were asked to do the impossible – stay open to care for children of essential workers without necessary personal protective equipment to stay safe. It seems in some ways like that day has been repeated 365 times to bring us now to 2021, worn and weary. The pandemic has laid bare the significant challenges early childhood professionals face each and every day.
On April 15, Wisconsin received $579.7 million for child care through the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March. These funds will be used to help families afford child care and to help stabilize the child care market (i.e. support child care businesses impacted by COVID-19 that are struggling to pay staff and fixed costs, such as rent, mortgage, or other operating expenses).
It began with idle small talk at a friend’s party. But that’s always how it begins.
“I’m a Realtor, what do you do?”
“I’m a teacher.”
“Oh, that’s such a rewarding job! My niece is in second grade. What grade do you teach?”
“I teach one-year-olds.”
*record scratch *
“…wait, I thought you said you were a teacher. What do you teach one-year-olds?”
WEESSN + Parenting Place + Local Farmers = new Farm to ECE purchasing pilot for child care providers
It has been a long-standing dream for Farm to Early Care and Education to explore ways for child care providers to share services in bulk purchasing of food for the children they serve. The year 2020 and a global pandemic magnified the need for fresh, local, and affordable options for meal services. Very early in the pandemic, child care providers struggled to find fresh produce. Many child care sites had to revert back to canned fruits and vegetables, meat, and protein alternatives that were in short supply. Frustrations in limits on items that could be purchased in stores literally had child care providers in tears because it was difficult to buy enough food at one time to keep meals going. It became a crisis, in that child care directors had to figure out new ways to keep little bellies full. Sometimes that meant a meal with no fruits and veggies, heavy on carbohydrates, and low in nutrients.