Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin Early Childhood Association’

The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families will host four WisKids Count Community Conversations, in collaboration with other organizations throughout the state. The goal of the forums is to increase awareness of the effects the recession has had on the well-being of children and to initiate conversation on what can be done to support children.

Local community leaders will discuss the challenges faced by families within their communities during the recession. Additional information from the recently released Annie E. Casey Foundation’s report on “America’s Children, America’s Challenge: Promoting Opportunity for the Next Generation” as well as data from the State and local levels will be presented.

La Crosse WisKids Count Community Conversation
Monday, Sept. 12, 11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
UW- La Crosse – Valhalla Room Cartwright Center, 1741 State Street, La Crosse

Appleton WisKids Count Community Conversation
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.  
Zion Lutheran Church, 912 North Oneida Street, Appleton

Wausau WisKids Count Community Conversation
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
North Central Technical College, Wausau

No registration required for the La Crosse, Appleton or Wausau Conversations
Questions can be directed to Martha Cranley, WCCF Kids Count Coordinator, at 608-284-0580 x 321 or at mcranley@wccf.org

Racine WisKids Count Community Conversation
Thursday, Sept. 22, 5:45 p.m.-7:45 p.m.
The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, 33 East Four Mile Road, Racine

To attend the Racine Conversation, please RSVP to lpiche@johnsonfdn.org at The Johnson Foundation.

For more information about the WisKids Count project visit the WCCF website.

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US Senator Ron Johnson (WI)

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson will hold listening sessions from August 16 to the 25 in communities across Wisconsin. Senator Johnson will not be present but his staff will relay messages from constituents back to him. WECA encourages all early childhood care and education supporters to attend the listening sessions with Senator Johnson’s staff to voice their opinions on the importance of funding early care programs.

With the current political climate, and the passing of the federal Budget Control Act of 2011, funding cuts to early care programs could impact families, children, and providers. Programs including Head Start, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Preschool Grants Program for Children with Disabilities could all face cuts.

Here are a few talking points to help you share your opinions when speaking with Senator Johnson’s staff members:

Moving forward, it is important to continue providing federal funding to support early childhood care and education in Wisconsin. Early child care and education programs prepare children to succeed when they enter school and allow parents to be reliable employees at work. Please support early childhood care and education funding in upcoming budget discussions.  It is a wise investment today—to help assure that employers have the workers they need—and for the future, so we can raise a new generation of children ready to succeed in school, work, and life.

Listening Session Schedule:

Tuesday, August 16th, 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Council Chambers, Brookfield City Hall
2000 North Calhoun Road, Brookfield, WI 53005

Tuesday, August 16th, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Community Room, Altoona City Hall
1303 Lynn Avenue, Altoona, WI 54720

Tuesday, August 16th, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Menomonee Falls Village Hall
W156 N8480 Pilgrim Road, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Tuesday, August 16th, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Council Room, Clark County Courthouse
517 Court Street, Neillsville, WI 54456

Tuesday, August 16th, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Large Room, Crandon Public Library
110 West Polk Street, Crandon, WI 54520

Tuesday, August 16th, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
West Entrance Meeting Room, Taylor Co Courthouse
224 South Second Street, Medford, WI 54451

Tuesday, August 16th, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
WPS Room, Stephenson Public Library
1700 Hall Ave, Marinette, WI 54143

Thursday, August 18th, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Conference Room, Florence County Courthouse
501 Lake Avenue, Florence, WI 54121

Thursday, August 18th, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Lone Rock Community Center
Corner of Liberty Street and Broadway Street, Lone Rock, WI 53556

Thursday, August 18th, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Council Chambers, Eagle River City Hall
525 East Maple Street, Eagle River, WI 54521

Thursday, August 18th, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Council Chambers, Rhinelander, City Hall
135 South Stevens Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501

Friday, August 19th, 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Small Meeting Room, Hales Corners Village Hall
5635 South New Berlin Road, Hales Corners, WI 53130

Friday, August 19th, 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Meeting Room A, Appleton Public Library
225 Oneida Street, Appleton, WI 54911

Friday, August 19th, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Meeting Room, Capitol Library
3969 North 74th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53216

Thursday, August 25th, 2011, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Centro Hispano of Dane County
810 West Badger Rd, Madison, WI 53713

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YoungStar Press Conference - Secretary Eloise Anderson

Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson speaks to the press about Wisconsin's new child care rating system, YoungStar.

Today is the beginning of a public awareness campaign by the Department of Children & Families Secretary Eloise  Anderson for YoungStar, Wisconsin’s child care rating program. Secretary Anderson held a press conference at The Learning Gardens Child Development Center in Madison. A new website, www.youngstar.wi.gov was revealed, along with billboard and city bus advertisements.

“Parents in Wisconsin can now quickly and easily access information about child care providers by ‘looking for the stars.’ The Department of Children and Families designed YoungStar with parents in mind to help them select the best provider for their children,” said Secretary Anderson. “Parents want to know their children are safe and secure, as well as gaining the knowledge and social skills that set the stage for a successful tomorrow.”

YoungStar rates child care programs on a five-star scale using research-based quality indicators to:

  • Evaluate and rate the quality of care given by child care providers;
  • Help parents choose the best child care for their kids;
  • Support providers with tools and training to deliver high-quality early care; and
  • Set a consistent standard for child care quality in Wisconsin.

Click to see photos from the YoungStar news conference.

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WECA Food Program participants may now apply for a USDA Child Care Wellness Grant administered by the Wisconsin Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsors Forum and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Selected grantees will be awarded a nutrition kit of their choice from the following: physical activity for kids, cooking with kids, or nutrition education. The grant is an opportunity for family child care providers to develop and implement policies that improve the overall nutrition, physical health, and well-being of children. Up to 300 providers will be chosen as pilot sites.

Selected pilot sites will be required to:

  • Attend a training workshop or view a training webcast;
  • complete a baseline evaluation;
  • participate in two sessions of on-site technical assistance;
  • and complete a post-evaluation.

Upon successful completion, participating sites will receive a framed certificate. All WECA Food Program participants are encouraged to apply. For consideration, Wellness Grant applications must be postmarked no later than August 12, 2011. Mail completed applications to:

Wisconsin CACFP Sponsors Forum
PO Box 10384
Green Bay, WI 54307

To download an application, click here.

For questions, please call the WECA Food Program at 1-800-783-9322 ext. 7245 or contact your WECA Area Coordinator.

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WECA is excited to announce the release of a new workforce study, Child Care Professionals in 2010: The view from Wisconsin. WECA teamed up with the Public Policy Forum in Milwaukee to help create an accurate picture of the strengths and challenges in the field today. A group of early education stakeholders were pooled together to determine the focus areas of the study: education, experience, job satisfaction, and compensation. In each category, a set of questions were developed to survey three distinct groups: child care directors, group child care employees, and family child care providers.

The study revealed positive trends in the workforce, including:

  • Sixty-two percent of the survey respondents intending to pursue credit-based professional training and 41 percent planning to pursue non-credit training.
  • A 14 to 24 percent drop in the Wisconsin early care workforce turnover rate.
  • Only four percent of survey respondents claiming they were unsatisfied with their current jobs, and 96 percent claiming either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied”.

The study recommends focusing on key areas to support the future of the early care workforce, including:

To read the study, Child Care Professionals in 2010: The view from Wisconsin, in its entirety, click here.

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Research has found that the credit-based education of child care providers is an important factor linked with high-quality early education programs. Unfortunately, with high turnover, low compensation, and increasing higher education costs, it is difficult for the early education workforce to gain these credits.

In a recent paper by Wisconsin Early Childhood Association and Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, entitled Milestones: Advancements to Pathways for Early Childhood Higher Education, the option of credit for prior learning is discussed as one way to:

  • Recognize all the non-credit training and experience that early childhood providers already have!
  • Begin on a pathway of achieving more credits, or degrees, at a Wisconsin college
  • Have a clear starting point when considering credit-based education

Read the full paper here and keep checking our blog to learn about the progress that WI technical colleges are making in terms of what credit for prior learning options they will offer to providers!

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Beginning in October 2010, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association began the WECA AmeriCorps program in Milwaukee. This program seeks to improve the education of child care providers, offer skill development opportunities to Corps members, and boost the quality of Milwaukee area child care centers. Our current WECA AmeriCorps members provide consistent, affordable coverage for child care staff who must take time off of work to complete college courses. Corps members learn about early education through trainings, an accelerated college course, and direct experience. Additionally, Corps members complete projects related to early literacy, YoungStar, or nutrition to improve their host centers.

Everyday across the nation, many more AmeriCorps members are tackling America’s toughest problems in:
• Disaster Services
• Economic Opportunity
• Education
• Environmental Stewardship
• Healthy Futures
• Veterans and Military Families

To commemorate this service, join us as we celebrate the fifth annual AmeriCorps Week from May 14-21, 2011. Thank you to our WECA AmeriCorps members and to all AmeriCorps members across the nation!

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