Next Door - Home of Educare


"Data has shown us that children who enter an Educare program between the ages of birth to two years, and remain in Educare until 4-year-old kindergarten are scoring above average on school readiness tests." 
(Source: Educare promising early returns)



October 9, 2014:

Educare Milwaukee receives high scores in teacher assessment!

"Our goal is to close the achievement gap. The better we can equip teachers to meet the child’s needs, the better our outcomes will be, and the better prepared our children will be for school.” --- Angela Lampkin, Educare of Milwaukee Director.

We received some very good news this week about our Educare Center. A key assessment of the quality of teacher instruction has gone up 38%! The CLASS assessment measures how well teach...ers are using classroom resources to support and instruct the child. For example, CLASS measures how well the teacher is developing language and literacy skills. As part of our commitment to excellence, Educare implements this assessment annually. In 2013, our score for instruction support was 3.4. The national average for Head Start classrooms was 3.14, so we were already performing above that. But because of the hard work of our Educare director and our Master Teachers, our score in 2014 went up to 4.68. That is a 38% increase!

There were a lot of factors that account for this increase. The Educare Network held a training in March for all Educare staff on high quality teaching. Education Managers were also very committed to implementing the ideas, giving feedback and even video-taping teachers in action. Finally, each classroom team was very intentional on working together as a teaching unit. All of these steps helped to improve scores. We are very proud of our teachers.

What is Educare?

Educare is a state-of-the-art early childhood school with a focus on developing early skills and promoting and enhancing parent-child relationships that create a foundation for successful learning. Educare is a national model of early education and care built on Early Head Start and Head Start Standards. The program enrolls children as early as six weeks old, and children have the opportunity to remain in Educare until they are ready to transition to kindergarten. Educare programs seek to raise awareness of the importance of high quality education and family services.

Research on Educare schools indicates the earlier children enroll in an Educare school and the longer they remain in Educare from birth to two years, the better they are prepared fro kindergarten.

This means these children enter 4-year-old kindergarten socially prepared to learn with knowledge of important concepts such as colors, letters, shapes, sequence, self-awareness, and vocabulary. Knowledge of these concepts is essential for school success.


The first Educare center opened in 2000 in Chicago, IL. Through a partnership with the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and Ounce of Prevention,  Educare Milwaukee opened in 2005 and was the third Educare in the country. Currently there are 18 schools from coast to coast, and this innovative network is still growing.

For more information about the network of Educare Schools, please visit:

Watch this video that was created about Educare programs across the country (14:00 minutes).


Educare’s Core Features

Full-day, full-year services

  • Educare Milwaukee is open 12 months a year from 7:00am- 6:00pm, Monday-Friday.

Maintain small class sizes

  • Infant toddler rooms: 3 teachers : 8 children
  • Pre-school rooms: 3 teachers : 17 children

Use research- based strategies

  • Educare Milwaukee works with a research team from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to collect data from our families, children and staff to strengthen our program.
  • The information is reviewed several times through-out the year to ensure the highest quality of care for our families and to ensure children are ready to enter school.
  • Parents receive communication about their child’s progress

Maintain high staff qualifications. Minimum qualifications are:

  • Master Teachers & Family Support Manager: Master’s degrees
  • Lead Teachers & Family Advocate Specialists: Bachelor’s degrees
  • Teacher Aides: HS diplomas/GED, Childcare Certifications, and/or CDA

Offer on-site family support

  • Family support staff are available to families during all program hours and receive training on strategies to engage and support parents.
  • Family support staff have small caseloads to provide the highest quality of services to families
  • Family support staff have a specific and intentional role in supporting the parent-child relationship; the parent’s role in their child’s development, health and learning; and the parent’s role in their child’s school experiences.

Implement reflective supervision and practice

  • Staff meet regularly with their supervisor individually or in groups to discuss the work openly to support professional growth and change.

Provide continuity of care to help children develop secure relationships

  • Children remain with the same teaching team from entry until transition to preschool
  • Children are able to work in small groups with a primary caregiver teacher to support individualized instruction and relationship-based work.

Implement an interdisciplinary approach

  • Education and family support staff, and/or other professionals/consultants meet regularly in order to discuss and understand the child in the context of his/her family

Provide an enhanced focus on language and literacy

  • Evident in the program’s use of assessments, curriculum, and lesson planning, including individualized goals and instruction.
  • Adult and peer interactions, both verbal and non-verbal, are emphasized as central to language development

Provide a strong emphasis on social-emotional development to promote school readiness

  • Evident in the program’s use of assessments, curriculum, and lesson planning, including individualized goals and instruction.
  • The discipline and child guidance policy is based on proactive, positive approaches to discipline
  • There is evidence of engagement with parents and children (families are involved, communication is open, cultural sensitivity and awareness is promoted)
  • Transitions are planned carefully into, within, and from the program, involving parents and a multi-disciplinary team of staff

Provide an enhanced focus on problem solving and numeracy (math)

  • Evident in the program’s use of assessments, curriculum, and lesson planning, including individualized goals and instruction.

Integrate the arts into the program to strengthen and support social-emotional, language, and literacy development

  • Intentional emphasis on use of art experiences (drama, dance, music, story-telling, and visual arts)
  • Parents, families, and staff are provided opportunities to participate in arts activities

Start Early-Emphasis Prenatal Services

  • Offer referrals
  • Collaborate with the Next Door Home Visitation Prenatal Program or other community Prenatal Services
  • Doulas are recommended through partnerships


For more information, call 414.562.2929  ext. 165


Next Door | 2545 N. 29th Street | Milwaukee, WI 53210 | (414) 562-2929

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