The Greater Fox Valley Child Care Alliance is a network of partners across NE Wisconsin (from Greater Green Bay to Oshkosh) working to make it easier for children ages birth to 5 and their families to get the high-quality, affordable early care and education (ECE) and family supports they need to thrive.
With this newsletter we aim to educate and inform our communities about the need to transform early care and education in ways that will bring about more equitable and lasting outcomes for children and families across the region and to spark opportunities for action, alignment and coordination.
This month you’ll find:
- Child Care Resource & Referral partners with Calumet County to secure Dream Up Grant
- First 5 Fox Valley expands Help Me Grow in NE WI
- First 5 Fox Valley secures Child Abuse and Prevention Board grant to build family navigator capacity for NE WI
- Community Foundation of the Fox Valley podcast on child care crisis featuring Greater Fox Valley Child Care Alliance
OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE & LEARN:
- Seeking letters of support by August 15 for Family Resource Center application
CCR&R Fox Valley, partnering with Calumet County, has secured a Wisconsin Dream Up! Child Care Supply – Building Program Grant of $75,000. Chosen as one of nine teams out of 29 applicants to receive the grant, community partners will receive strategic planning support in addition to the funding to expand and support child care supply through a community collaboration model.
First 5 Fox Valley and Help Me Grow
In 2020, First 5 Fox Valley became the Wisconsin state affiliate to the Help Me Grow National Center and began running a community partnership model of family resource navigators to help support parents and young children ages 0-5. Two recent grant awards are supporting the capacity, growth, and expansion of Help Me Grow (HMG) services to children and families in Wisconsin.
With the successful award of a $250,000 Alliance for a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) – 2023 Community Led- Maternal and Child Health Equity Grant, First 5 Fox Valley is expanding Help Me Grow into five northeast WI counties: Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Menominee and Oconto.
Help Me Grow has seen great success in the region. Currently serving 8 counties, this grant will add an additional 7 counties in northeast Wisconsin. A community partnership model using braided funds from multiple sources, embeds HMG family resource navigators within partner agencies, all with access to a centralized access point, the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) Developmental Screening Enterprise system and resource directory.
A second grant has been secured to support the HMG Family Resource Navigator role. The grant of $100,000 from the Child Abuse and Prevention Board supports the Help Me Grow model within child care settings to interrupt the impact of adversity and promote protective factors among families and their young children as a primary prevention strategy. There are currently 51 center and family child care programs using Help Me Grow to support children’s development and raise the quality of their services to families.
Key collaborators with First 5 Fox Valley to expand HMG in our region include Alliance network partners; FCRNEW, Encompass Child Care and Achieve Brown County, demonstrating the Alliance goal of partnering to expand and connect families with basic needs, supports, and resources.
“As a leader in early education and care in NE Wisconsin, we are so excited about the opportunity to join in the impactful work of Help Me Grow. This platform will allow families, providers, health systems, and educators to work together in building a strong foundation for our children and a better future for Wisconsin.”
Missy Schmeling | Executive Director
Voices from the Valley Podcast Highlights Child Care Crisis
Finding quality childcare in Wisconsin is a challenge, with long waitlists. It’s also expensive. Many parents say they are paying more than their monthly mortgage or rent to have their children cared for while they work. And for single parents, it’s a difficult road to navigate. Click below to listen to the podcast hosted by Carolyn Desrosiers and Amy Spreeman of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.
Opportunities to Engage & Learn
The First 5 Fox Valley Board is asking you to show support for the creation of a Family Resource Center in the Fox Valley region by adding your name to a sign on letter. The idea of a Family Resource Center is not a new concept, but the pandemic and its consequences showed that families – though resilient – need more support.
This sign on letter is open until August 15th and can be shared broadly.