We’re thrilled to announce that All Our Kin’s co-founders and directors, Janna Wagner and Jessica Sager, will be honored this month by the ACES Education Foundation for their leadership of All Our Kin. The ACES Education Foundation is a charitable organization that supports the work of ACES, an innovative regional agency that helps meet educational challenges in twenty-five south central Connecticut school districts. Jessica and Janna will be honored at ACES’ 11th Annual Gala on March 27, 2014.
When Jessica and Janna founded All Our Kin back in the 1990s, they were responding to a dual need in the New Haven community: young and vulnerable children needed access to high-quality early learning experiences that would enable them to grow and thrive, and low income mothers needed jobs that would help them build financial security. At the time, as a result of the shortage of affordable, high-quality care in the community, many working parents in New Haven—especially parents of infants and toddlers and parents with inflexible work schedules—were relying on informal, home-based caregivers to provide child care.
Jessica and Janna began training these informal caregivers, supporting them, and helping them build high-quality family child care programs that met the needs of children and parents. At the same time, All Our Kin helped these providers increase revenue and build better lives for their own families. The model that Janna and Jessica developed has been refined over the years, but our mission remains the same: training, supporting, and sustaining community child care providers in order to ensure that children and families have the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life.
To date, All Our Kin has helped 294 family child care providers become licensed. We currently work with over 300 providers in greater New Haven and greater Bridgeport, and we have plans for continued expansion. Thanks to Janna and Jessica’s vision, these providers have access to strategies and materials for engaging children, a range of supports to deepen their practice, and a community of providers focused on improving the quality of their family child care programs. As Jessica recently stated in an interview with the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, “You absolutely have to focus on the adults in children’s lives if you want to make transformation for children.” Thanks to All Our Kin, providers throughout our community are equipped and supported in the vital work they undertake each day when they open their homes to children and families.
All Our Kin and ACES share a vision for improving educational opportunities and ensuring educational equity. We have been fortunate to partner with ACES’s early childhood services in the past, and look forward to continued collaboration in the future. We are very excited that ACES Education Foundation has chosen to celebrate Jessica and Janna’s contributions to our community, and we hope you will join us in congratulating them for this wonderful honor.