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April 18, 2024


County Executive David Crowley Announces Grant Funding for Early Childhood and Family Support Programs

Six new projects will help children thrive and provide families with tools to enhance learning


MILWAUKEE – County Executive David Crowley joined the Milwaukee County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Children, Youth & Family Services (CYFS) Division and the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute to announce federal grant funding for six local organizations that will provide early childhood development support for children and families in the community.

Milwaukee County and the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute selected six agencies to receive approximately $800,000 in grants, funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), for early childhood and family strengthening projects. The agencies receiving funding are: United Community Center, The Parenting Network, Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health, Jewish Family Services, Penfield Children’s Center, and Wisconsin Latino Chamber.

The six agencies were selected through a request for proposal competitive application process and the $800,000 in grant dollars will be allocated across the six organizations. The selected partners and their projects will work to help Milwaukee County families thrive and provide them techniques to enhance the development and learning potential of children in the community.

“We know providing children a strong start in life will contribute to their future success. I believe it’s critically important to invest in early childhood development and make sure Milwaukee County families have the support they need to realize the bright futures they all deserve,” said County Executive Crowley. “The selected organizations submitted outstanding project proposals that address the needs of our children and families. I will continue to support programs and initiatives that uplift the health and development of Milwaukee children and families.”

Early childhood has broad and significant impacts on the overall health and wellbeing of all Milwaukee County youth and their families. The economic and health costs of not having a robust early childhood system are substantial. The most effective way to address these issues is to invest in building a stronger system.

“Our partnering organizations have been carefully selected to provide innovative programs that support parents, babies, and young children in Milwaukee County,” said Kari Southern, Deputy Director of Community Advocates Public Policy Institute. “Early childhood is a critical phase of development, and it’s full of challenges for parents and caregivers. We’re grateful for Milwaukee County’s investment in our families.”


The following projects will receive ARPA funding:


  • Jewish Family Services (JFS) – This project will expand services to develop two levels of classroom interventions. Tier 1 is for the whole classroom and providing wellness-based, psychoeducational services that promote social emotional learning, and Tier 2 will be small group which will teach kids to identify and regulate intense emotions, find focus, and build relationships using interactive and expressive activities. JFS will model these interventions so that each participating teacher will have the tools to continue the interventions.


  • The Parenting Network – This project will implement a new initiative, Triple P for Baby, designed to prepare first time parents for a positive transition into parenthood and their baby’s first year. This program will increase communication and relationship skills, increase social support and resource awareness, and increase father involvement, positive parenting practices and parent-child relationship quality.


  • Penfield Children’s Center – This project will increase the Early Education & Care Teacher’s understanding of the foundations of neurodevelopment and enhance knowledge of strategies that support social and emotional well-being, along with developing tools to empower families and caregivers to extend work into the home and other environments. The intention is to create a positive ripple effect throughout the Early Education & Care program, fostering a culture of emotional intelligence and resilience that benefits teachers, children, parents and caregivers.


  • United Community Center – This project will create a sustainable model of whole childcare and family support that will enhance home/school continuity, and thus, the Building Resilience Initiative’s overall long-term positive impacts. This will be done through a new parent education class with Positive Solutions for Families curriculum, as well as increasing parent and staff access to 1:1 mental health counseling.


  • Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health – This project will aim to build and sustain a culturally responsive and holistic Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation system that supports the mental, social, and emotional health of infants and young children in the context of their primary relationships. Supporting consultants to build and increase their skills through the Community of Practice and Reflective Supervision to provide support to early childhood providers in child/family, classroom/home, programmatic and community levels.


  • Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce – This project will create 15 new childcare centers with an anticipated 100 new childcare slots within targeted regions of Milwaukee County to address the specific needs of the Latino community. Additionally, it will foster entrepreneurship and economic empowerment within the Latino demographic, thereby contributing to socio-economic advancement and community development. This will be done through a strong mentorship and training cohort model.



(414) 278-4211 | fax: (414) 223-1375
Milwaukee County Courthouse, Room 306
901 N. 9th Street | Milwaukee, WI 53233

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