The designation is to highlight the importance of caring appropriately for young children. The Celebrate Children Foundation is having a 24-hour fund-raising campaign today to support early learning.
“It’s the first time we’ve tried this, and we hope it will be an opportunity for an annual event to raise some of this money … we’re suggesting we want to be a part of the solution strategy. It’s not all government. We’re looking for private support as well to build this bucket of grant money that can be available to this industry.”
Jim Leonhart, Executive Vice President of the group says the Foundation’s purpose right now is to raise awareness of the need to invest in birth-to-five education. And, Leonhart says, part of their effort is to emphasize the need for additional training for child care providers.
“We need to find and we need to build public-private partnerships to invest in early learning situations.”
The Foundation is also getting the word out about the new Youngstar program, which sets standards for early learning programs. Leonhart says it’s a good start in helping to ensure quality programs, and the appropriate use of funding.
“We believe it’s important in Milwaukee, for example, as a check against the fraud that they’ve battled with in that city, because the funding under the Youngstar initiative would go to those programs that are doing it right and therefore we can be assured that our state and federal tax dollars are being used in the most appropriate way.”
Today’s fund drive is an electronic campaign, and anyone can contribute on the website: celebrate-children.org.
Jackie Johnson report 1:52