The goal of Pathways is to increase the number of low income children participating in City of Madison accredited early childhood and school-age care. To do this we will:

  • Identify and encourage non-accredited centers serving a significant number of low income children to pursue accreditation
  • Introduce expectations for currently accredited centers to serve a significant number of low income children or provide support for the early childhood or school-age community

What Does this Mean for Centers that are Not Currently Accredited?

Once identified, centers will receive the following support to help improve the quality of services and assist them on their pathway to becoming accredited:

  • Grants up to $10,000 per year per center for up to three years to help pay for trainings, materials, equipment, etc.
  • Intensive onsite work with a Child Care Specialist to support and accredit the center
  • Training and resources to better serve children who live in poverty
  • Once accredited, eligibility for Stabilization Grants to help offset the cost of serving low income children

What Does this Mean for Centers that are Currently Accredited?

As of January 2020, an accreditation standard has been added which requires centers to choose one of the following two options:

  • At least 5% of the enrollment is made up of children from low income families. This includes children who receive Wisconsin Shares child care subsidies, free and reduced price lunch, City of Madison Child Care Tuition Assistance, UW Child Care Tuition Assistance Program funding (CCTAP), Madison Metropolitan School District Transition Education Program (TEP) funding or other private or public scholarship funding determined by the Early Care and Education Manager to be eligible.
  • The center provides 12 hours per year of service to the local early childhood or school-age community for every 50 children enrolled (regardless of full or part time status). This is not pro-rated for programs that serve fewer than 50 children. Examples of community service could include:
    • Sharing materials, resources or training opportunities
    • Provide training
    • Mentoring
    • Support correcting identified required changes
    • Joint fundraising
    • Parental in-kind service
    • Peer review
    • Other opportunities as approved by the assigned Child Care Specialist