Dear Friends of The Playing Field,
If you know anyone in need of child care, you probably realize that the search is often long and frustrating. There are over 2000 Madison children in need of child care. Estimates for Dane County are as high as 6000. Across the country, demand for child care outpaces the supply, leaving families of young children in desperation.
In a rush to meet the demand for child care, we must be careful not to sacrifice quality. Children spend long hours in early education programs. Those hours shape their development. The Playing Field was founded with the belief that all children deserve access to high-quality early care and education. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the majority of young children. The NICD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development showed that fewer than ten percent of U.S. child care meets the standard for “very high” quality with the vast majority being rated as only “fair.”
The pandemic brought to light what most early educators have long known. Our work is critical to individual families, their children, and economic stability and— our work is badly under resourced! In response, federal funds were made available through the Child Care Counts (CCC) program. This funding was used to retain educators in a time when many were leaving the field. Even with this funding, many programs continue to name staffing as their biggest challenge. Without this funding, even more programs will close their doors.
If you would like to learn more about what is happening in Wisconsin and how you can help, please follow the links below:
Invest in Child Care in Wisconsin’s 2023-2025 State Budget
Urge Legislators to Invest in Child Care
The expected changes to the CCC funding will impact every child care program including The Playing Field and our plans to expand. At this time, your financial support is even more critical. Please consider a gift to our operating costs so that we can continue to serve children— many of whom would not otherwise have access to a high-quality program. We are grateful to all who support us!
Week of the Young Child
During the first week of April our School Family celebrated National Week of the Young Child! Our sites planned fun activities each day. Please enjoy just a few of the photos from our special week: Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Wish Well Wednesday, Think Art Thursday and Family Friday.