Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic
Press Release

Committee recommends approval of early childhood education investment

Includes stipend for educators and key programming support

By - Oct 15th, 2021 01:09 pm

Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic introduced a proposal that would allocate millions of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to bolster early childhood education in Milwaukee. Through the Common Council’s ARPA allocation process, all proposals were heard at a meeting of the Finance and Personnel Committee on Friday, October 15. The committee partially funded the bold initiative, one of the largest local government investments in early childhood care and education.

Funding childcare is an investment in the human infrastructure of Milwaukee’s working families, and Ald. Dimitrijevic looks forward to seeing childcare included in the federal infrastructure bill as well. The Finance and Personnel Committee today, by investing in our families, said yes to gender equity, to higher wages and to the health and well-being of children and their parents in Milwaukee.

“The research is clear that quality early childhood care and education provides a positive impact on a child’s development and sets them up for lasting success. We have an obligation to eliminate child care deserts and make sure every child in Milwaukee, regardless of their race or zip code, has proper access.” said Alderwoman Dimitrijevic.  “Many local leaders have stated how these ARPA funds represent a generational opportunity, and I can’t think of a better way to use a portion of these dollars than to give our children and families the resources they need to thrive. The time to act is now so we can set our children up for a lifetime of healthy development and success. ”

The Alderwoman’s early childhood education funding proposal includes investments into several key areas. These include:

  • $5,102,500 to provide stipends to eligible early childhood professionals. The program is administered through the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association. By providing salary supplements to early childhood education facilities, the intent is to decrease turnover rates and provide infants and toddlers with more stable relationships with better-educated teachers by rewarding teacher education and continuity of care.
  • $309,000 investment in the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) dual-enrollment program, which enables students to attend college while enrolled in high school and studying early childhood education.  MATC will offer an 18-credit preschool technical diploma delivered as a dual enrollment academy. After high school graduation, students have the opportunity to transition to a Fellows program (Leading Men Fellows or MKE Rising), continue on to earn an associate degree at MATC, and/or continue to a bachelor’s degree.
  • $529,500 investment in MKE Rising, which prepares young men of color to participate in a 10-month early childhood residency as early childhood scholars to increase the representation of male educators of color in early childhood education. The investment from the City will fund the operation of cohorts of 5 male educators of color serving in early childhood classrooms over the course of three academic years (2022-24).
  • $1,059,000 investment in Leading Men Fellows. This program aims to empower and equip young men of color, ages 18-24, with opportunities to pursue a long-term career in the field of education. The program aims to diversify the teacher pipeline by laying the foundation for Black and Brown men to pursue careers as educators. The City’s contribution will support 20 Fellows over the course of three academic years.

Mentioned in This Press Release

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