Dozens of Families Expected for Dane County Early Childhood Initiative Reunion
An innovative Dane County program that helps parents find work while providing preventative health care for their children is marking a milestone this weekend. Dozens of families will gather for a reunion picnic at the Henry Vilas Zoo at 11:00 a.m. Saturday (August 14th) to celebrate the success of Dane County’s Early Childhood Initiative.
In just a few short years, the Early Childhood Initiative has connected more than 250 Dane County parents with jobs and provided hundreds of kids with a healthy start in life by ensuring they receive everything from prenatal care to immunizations and other preventative health care.
“This weekend we’re celebrating the hundreds of moms and dads who in the face of many challenges are now hard at work providing for their families and helping their children succeed in life,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said.
The program was created in 2004 by County Executive Kathleen Falk as a way to reduce the number of kids living in poverty. Falk meets regularly with moms and dads who are in the program to help support their educational and employment progress.
Since beginning in just the Allied Drive neighborhood, the Early Childhood Initiative has expanded to a total of four offices - - Allied Drive, Madison’s southwest side in the area of Hammersley and Russett Roads, Sun Prairie, and the newest neighborhood was just opened last month on Leopold Way in Fitchburg.
Dane County’s Early Childhood Initiative has an annual budget of around $900,000 which is made up of a combination of county, state, and grant funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Fund.
(For media interested in covering this celebration, the County Executive along with several dozen Early Childhood Initiative families will attend Saturday’s picnic. The event starts at 11:00 a.m. and the County Executive and families will be available to meet with the media from 11:30 until 12:00 noon. The event will be held in Vilas Park which is adjacent to Henry Vilas Zoo. Enter off Vilas Park Drive).