Bridges Family Child Care is now closed. I have enjoyed working with children as my ‘life’s work’, it fills my soul with all that matters ~seeing the joy in everyday life and having fun as we are learning and working and making sense of the world, I have often been brought to tears by the depth of our humanity that comes through these young beings who have only been on this planet for a short while, and loved snuggling with a ‘sleepyhead’ knowing I am helping her/him develop a healthy relationship with their resting time and that will help them keep their balance in all they do. It’s been a gift working with their families, the lessons they bring and kindnesses that they share. I have learned so much about being in community because of them and all the incredible staff and volunteers that have helped to make Bridges what it is. We have been celebrating the children’s growth and being in community for decades and it has been a great run.
This past year I have had the great fortune to work with several wonderful coworkers, we created bonds that will last for years. But after nearly a year of searching I was unable to hire a full time lead teacher, someone who is skilled in working with young children, respects and honors our philosophy and is available to work full time. Bridges was created to reflect the human family, having two ‘parent figures’ (a lead teacher and support teacher) and ‘aunties and uncles’ (support staff such as student interns, musicians, yoga teacher…) as well as ‘cousins’; (mostly Bridges alumni) to come in to share in community. Having two full time teachers work as a team was critical for our days to run smoothly. There is a dance that happens between the teachers where one leads and the other provides whatever ‘props’ is needed. When the ‘team’ is together all day they are able to keep it all going so everyone is in a healthy balance all day. This dynamic was critical in honoring the mission of our program.
I believe my inability to find a lead teacher was due to several factors. One factor is the urgent need for our federal government to support early childhood education (ECE). I think it is not sustainable to expect families to carry most of the financial burden for a high quality early childhood program. The amount of time to create and maintain the program so that it is nurturing to each child and challenging for each childs’ development, and healthy in terms of fresh air and exercise and wholesome food, and sanitary and safe is enormous. What the average family can pay is limited. The feds routinely provide significant support for many other industries because they are a necessary, most of the support is directed towards commodities such as oil… Commodities vs services goes back to the debates of our nations founders but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t participate in the discussion now. All the children have a right to safe, respectful and nurturing care and education and at this time our society isn’t providing it and what happens to one child effects all the children. Please, stand up for the children every chance you get. Know legislation that effects the children, you can go here to find out what is happening at the national level: <https://nwlc.org/child-care-now/> and educate yourself about the rights of the child, starting here: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_the_Rights_of_the_Child>
You can also participate here: <https://www.unicef.org>
Worldwide we are all in this together!
and great respect,
Licensed and Accredited Family Child Care on Madison’s Near East
We provide a small group of eight children with care and education that will nurture her or his spirit, promote cognitive and physical development, teach personal self care all while encouraging each child to live fully and responsibly in community. The goal of Bridges family child care is also to work with our families as they create a great early childhood experience for their child and a communal experience for their extended family. We believe all of our lives are enriched when we support each other as we navigate raising children in this changing world of ours.
Bridges Family Child Care is open:
Mon. Tues. Weds. Thurs. 7:45 am – 5:00 pm.
Minimal 2 days enrollment. 3-5 years, wrap around 4k (after morning session only).
Child care provided for after the Madison Metro School District four year old kindergarten (4K) program for both summer school or fall enrollment: Includes transportation, lunch, afternoon snack and a variety of recreational and educational enrichment activities ~lots of outdoor time, group activities, science, art music as well cozy spaces for a rest time.