Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school

Young children are our future workforce. Poverty can affect children’s development, their academic success, overall health, and lifetime earning potential – all barriers to economic stability.

Why it matters

Education is a cornerstone for success in school, work and life. Ensuring the babies of Dane County are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school benefits the whole community. The most formative years in a child’s development are from birth to age five and United Way is there from the beginning, with Born Learning – an initiative that helps parents, grandparents and caregivers turn everyday moments into fun, educational opportunities for young kids.

There are about 30,000 children under age 5 in Dane County – an astounding 15% of them live in poverty.
Brain research continues to demonstrate the importance of the first 5 years of life as a foundation for future success.
Academic achievement gap begins within the first year of life, and is measured at 18 months. Some children are already 2 years delayed by age 5.
By the time they start kindergarten, low-income children have heard 30 million fewer words than children from middle-income families.

 

Young children are our future workforce. Poverty can affect children’s development, their academic success, overall health, and lifetime earning potential – all barriers to economic stability.

WHAT WE WILL ACHIEVE

80% of our 4-year olds will be at age-expected development and ready to begin school by 2020.

KEY TACTICS

  • Home Visitation: Parent-Child Home Program The Parent-Child Home Program provides twice-weekly home visits to families with children ages 2 to 4 who are at-risk for not being prepared for kindergarten. 90% of children who complete this program are kindergarten ready.
  • United Way Play & Learn: Play and Learn is set up by a specialist and aide in high-need community location (i.e. community center, library) by using mats, tables, and age-appropriate learning materials to transform the space into a quality early learning opportunity for 2 ½ hours. The specialist models activities with young children to help parents in their role as their child’s first teacher and build on positive ways of interacting with their children and foster their development. The caregivers also learn about other resources.
  • Ages and Stages Questionnaire: The Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a developmental screening tool is completed by parents, with the support of an early childhood or other professional as needed. It screens children from 3 months to 5 years old in five areas of development.
  • Books for Babies The Books for Babies program provides a board book and information about reading and parents role as their child’s first teacher as well as information about community resources and programs, 2-1-1, an ASQ, a library card application to all babies born in Dane County through our 2 local hospitals: Meriter/Unity Point Health and Dean/St. Mary’s.

Learn more about preparing Dane County’s children for school

Staff:

Lauren Martin, Director Community Impact
Lauren.martin@uwdc.org
(608) 246-5488

Chair:

Michael Morgan
Community Leader

Vice Chair:

Fabiola Hamdan
Joining Forces for Families