Early Childhood Education Program Gets Boost in Funding

Early Childhood Education Program Gets Boost in Funding

$30,000 grant will help address teacher shortage

| By: Britten, Casey

Thanks to the generosity of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership, the Fox Valley Technical College Foundation, Inc. has received a grant worth $30,000 to address the staffing shortage in the childcare industry.

The funds will be used for the Early Childhood Educator Apprentice program, which was launched this year in response to the growing demand for early childhood educators. In this program, the apprentice works full time in a childcare environment while being mentored by experienced teachers and includes paid instruction at FVTC's on-campus Parent/Child Center.

“Currently, 54% of people in Wisconsin live in a childcare desert, meaning there is not enough childcare capacity to meet community needs,” explains Trent Sorensen, FVTC associate dean of Service. “There are childcare centers that have the space available to enroll more children but can’t because they do not have enough qualified staff. This grant has allowed us to start hiring/training early childhood apprentices in the Parent/Child Center, which in turn allows the center to increase staff and serve more children and parents.”

Funding for the Basic Needs Giving Partnership is generated through the U.S. Venture Open, the nation’s single largest one-day charitable event dedicated to ending poverty. The 2023 event raised $4.82 million for the Basic Needs Giving Partnership and 100% of every dollar donated goes to end poverty in Northeast Wisconsin. 

“We are excited that the Basic Needs Giving Partnership is investing in this new program to grow the number of early childhood educators,” says Becky Boulanger, executive director for the FVTC Foundation. “Increasing the number of skilled professionals in the early childhood sector is essential to local families and employers.”