Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation grant means more access to “Resources on the Road”
Community Coordinated Child Care, Inc. brings educational resources to Wisconsin families and caregivers
Fourth in a series of articles on local charitable organizations supported by grants awarded by the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation through American Family Insurance Championship proceeds.
No one can argue that access to quality childcare and early childhood education is the first step toward every child reaching his or her highest potential.For 50 years, this has been the mission of Community Coordinated Child Care, Inc. (4-C).
Serving an eight-county area in Wisconsin, 4-C offers a variety of programs and services to assist families, such as child care provider resources and referrals at no cost to help families find quality care; and training programs for caregivers and early education professionals.
They also offer support services, including a food program that reimburses childcare providers who provide nutritious meals and snacks; and the Latino Child Care Project that offers development opportunities to Spanish-speaking childcare professionals and offers them guidance with certification.
Helping communities help children – where they live
Another new program offered by 4-C that has become very popular is “Resources on the Road.”
The goal of Resources on the Road is simple: Take educational resources to early childhood professionals and families and make them accessible right where they live.
The resource and lending library on wheels includes developmental toy kits based around themes, activity and story time backpacks, fun props, children’s books, resource books for providers and educators, and more.
Participants can check-out items on a monthly basis at the various locations the program van visits. An email list of contacts maintained by 4-C is notified about a week ahead of the vehicle’s arrival date and times.
“When you understand the barriers that families and childcare professionals face, it’s easy to see why this program has become so important,” said Jody Bartnick, 4-C executive director. “Childcare professionals are some of the lowest paid in the nation, and it’s often difficult for them to get access to high-quality materials. Families face financial, transportation and language or literacy issues. Also, sixty percent of low-income children have no books in the home, so for many children this is their only exposure to books and other beneficial learning materials.”
Importance of grant funding
As needs go up for these services, so do costs. Grants are critical as funding is not sufficient. The grant from the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation has allowed 4-C to increase access to more families and caregivers for the program.
"We are thankful for the support of the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, which is helping children, families and early childhood programs gain access to free books, toys, and teaching materials through 4-C's Resources on the Road,” said Bartnick. “Formative development occurs during a child's first few years of life and Resources on the Road works to ensure that our most vulnerable populations have access to high quality materials to support this development."
In just its first three years, the American Family Insurance Championship has provided proceeds of more than $4.7 million to 185 charitable organizations through the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation.