Wisconsin Early Childhood Association Blog

Because small lives get bigger
We Are Teachers Too: Reflections by Kyra Swenson

We Are Teachers Too: Reflections by Kyra Swenson

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?”

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WEESSN + Parenting Place + Local Farmers = new Farm to ECE purchasing pilot for child care providers

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.

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Press Release: WECA Commends Gov. Evers and Department of Children and Families for Crafting an Effective Plan for the Use of CCDBG Funds.

Press Release: WECA Commends Gov. Evers and Department of Children and Families for Crafting an Effective Plan for the Use of CCDBG Funds.

The Wisconsin Early Childhood Association commends Governor Evers and Department of Children and Families Secretary Amundson on crafting an effective plan for the use of Wisconsin’s additional CCDBG funds through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This plan addresses pressing and immediate needs in our early care and education system, while putting in place mechanisms to stabilize this critical sector into the future. 

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The Power of Black Storytelling in Preschool Environments

The Power of Black Storytelling in Preschool Environments

As we approached Black History Month, I took a moment to reflect on my early schooling experiences.  As a Black child who attended predominantly White k-12 schools, I am unable to recall any school-wide celebrations of Black history. What I do recall is being taught by primarily White female teachers.  While I’m certain that their actions were well intended, their teaching practices lacked diversity.  From an early age, I was constantly reminded of the perpetuation of white privilege in my educational settings.  This notion of privilege was evident through my teacher’s mainstream selection of reading materials, guest speakers, field trips and exploration of historical figures who did not share my racial background.  I suffered socially, emotionally, and academically while navigating these early education environments.  Reflecting back, I now realize that my developmental needs were not being met, in part, due to the mismatch noted between my racial identity and the school’s curriculum. Where were the images of Black people in my early education setting? What were their stories? 

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Embedding Social Justice in Teaching Practice and Staff Development

Embedding Social Justice in Teaching Practice and Staff Development

More than half of the 74 million children in the United States are children of color, and they are served by learning systems that are gravely inequitable (Haywoode, 2020). Because of this inequity, social justice must be embedded in the field of early care and education. Nationally, Head Start programs were one way to address social justice. Head Start was designed to disrupt the cycle of poverty that is transferred from one generation to the next across the nation and to promote social justice in those areas where educational opportunity was denied.  Since the inception of Head Start, the field of early childhood has expanded to many options such as family child care, group child care, school districts early childhood programs so how do we ensure all programs are centered around social justice.

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Remember Your “Why” Tammy Dannhoff’s T.E.A.C.H. Journey

Remember Your “Why” Tammy Dannhoff’s T.E.A.C.H. Journey

We often hear the challenges of adult learning. The constant balancing act required to work full time, attend school, and care for a family all at once. These challenges, a once in a lifetime pandemic, and widespread calls for social justice have burdened our recipients and sponsors. And yet, through it all, our scholars are persevering and finding success.

This year, we plan to kick off a blog series where we share stories from early care and education professionals, we serve through various WECA programs. This month, we’re pleased to highlight Tammy Dannhoff, who as a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® WISCONSIN scholarship recipient, is sharing her journey.

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Early Child Care Educators and the COVID-19 Vaccine: The Wisconsin Process

Early Child Care Educators and the COVID-19 Vaccine: The Wisconsin Process

We have heard many of you expressing your concern about the COVID-19 vaccine in our state. We know that this process will take time, but we want to make sure to share the facts we have currently on this issue.

In December of 2020, Wisconsin started to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, it is making its way into the arms of those in Tier 1A as defined by the Wisconsin State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC). Tier 1A is our state’s medical professionals in high-risk categories of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and those in long term care facilities; think nursing homes. As of January 7, 2021, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) website shows that 420,200 vaccines have been allocated to our state. Of those, 266,675 have been shipped, and 110,207 vaccines have already been administered.

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Child Care Sector Relief in Pandemic Bill

Child Care Sector Relief in Pandemic Bill

The child care sector has been named in every pandemic relief bill proposed to congress since the spring. The importance of this work has never been more clear. And while we must keep advocating for the long-term Child Care is Essential Act, we celebrate the news that help is coming. The House and Senate have passed a new $892 billion COVID Relief Package and the President signed the bill this past Sunday. While in its entirety, the bill is 5,593 pages long and will take time to fully understand, there are some highlights that will directly benefit early care and education professionals in Wisconsin. What’s more, the bill not only calls for pandemic relief, it also increases spending on federal programs impacting our field for 2021. 

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