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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

All Our Kin

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Vocational & Technical Schools

Mission: All Our Kin, Inc., is a nationally-recognized, New Haven-based nonprofit organization that trains, supports, and sustains community child care providers in order to ensure that children and families have the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life.  Our vision: all children, regardless of where they live, their racial or ethnic background, or how much money their parents earn, will begin their lives with all the advantages, all the tools, and all the experiences that we, as a society, are capable of giving them. And All Our Kin works to achieve that vision on many different levels at the same time. We make it possible for children to receive the excellent foundational early learning experiences they need and deserve. We furnish working parents with the resources to find and keep high-quality child care. We equip caregivers with the skills and resources to move out of poverty and open child care businesses in their communities. And we invest in neighborhoods, by building the capacity, quality, and viability of local child care businesses.

Geographic areas served: Connecticut

Programs: Family, friend and neighbor caregivers provide much of the daily child care to families in low-income neighborhoods. Through the Toolkit project, All Our Kin provides materials, mentorship and support to help these unlicensed caregivers meet health and safety standards, fulfill state licensing requirements, and become part of a professional community of child care providers. In this incentive-based project, caregivers receive boxes of useful resources and goodies, which gradually increase in value, as they move through the licensing process.  Each box contains the necessary paperwork for each step towards licensure, as well as health and safety supplies; educational supplies such as quality children’s books, blocks, and art materials; and vouchers for training. 

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

All Our Kin is the real-deal. They have been working with childcare providers for decades and are 100% committed to their community.

Review from JustGive

Anika L.

Board Member

Rating: 5

AOK works at the intersection of providing effective early childhood education and guaranteeing economic security. Their work accomplishes two incredibly important goals: (1) giving young children a strong start in life with high quality early childhood ed and (2) helping family day providers make a sustainable living. The work AOK does is amazing and it serves the needs of both children and small-scale entrepreneurs.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

All Our Kin works for two goals that are important to me: economic security, particularly for low and moderate income women, and high quality early childhood education. Their work is simple, in a way: help home day care providers become economically self-sufficient while also providing the children under their care the building blocks for successful primary education and beyond. But in that simplicity, they accomplish so much, for children, for parents and for providers. But the rewards are profound and have impacts from a child's well-being to a positive impact on economic development in Connecticut. The staff is extraordinarily dedicated.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was an undergraduate in New Haven. When I moved back to New Haven five years later, I knew I wanted to get involved in the community and All Our Kin was at the top of my list of organizations to reach out to. I knew they did amazing work empowering women and helping children. I didn't know how wonderful the staff would be about incorporating volunteers into their mission. So many organizations make it difficult to get involved, but All Our Kin found substantive and consistent ways for me to help immediately. Since I've started volunteering at All Our Kin, I've been able to see first hand how amazingly committed the staff is. They have an inspiring vision for how to improve the lives of so many people in our community and they work implement that vision every day.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have watched All Our Kin evolve for over a decade. While they have grown tremendously, there is much that has remained constant -- extraordinary commitment to the people they serve, hiring staff of only the highest quality, and taking an encompassing approach to service (serving the whole person and all their needs, not just one piece). It is not so much that All Our Kin's services are groundbreaking in nature (though they are in some respects); it is that they perform them better than anyone else. They are making a huge difference to the lives of providers and children in Connecticut.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with All Our Kin as a provider and as a board member. As a provider I have been able to futher my education, have visits from AOK to help improve my home daycare and have been able to meet other providers to discuss our daycares and bounce ideas to each other. As a board member I have been able to help make discissions that would benifit providers to operate a safe, loving and educational daycare. All Our Kin is a community driven organization that is there for all, children, parents and providers.

Previous Stories
5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with AOK since day 1 of their existance. I first was on the side of receiving services from them (education, counseling, supplies and being NAFCC Accredidated), now I am still a part of the network and I am also on the Board for AOK. They are truly a family that helps others to begin their lives in child care but also they help you maintain and keep your families together. Each and every member of AOK has superb knowledge in their own field and can share it with others.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am inspired by the community that All Our Kin has helped to cultivate with and on behalf of child care providers in the state of CT. Together, All Our Kin and the care givers have created more opportunities for access to quality early child care in communities that need them most.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent over an hour staring at my computer screen, trying to think of how I could possibly do justice to everything that All Our Kin is. The word I to which I keep coming back is thoughtful. I've worked with many nonprofits, but I've never encountered an organization this deliberate in its operations: because every staff member loves their work and completely buys in to All Our Kin's vision, they think very, very hard about what they do, and this shines through in their results and in the immense respect the community has for All Our Kin. Thoughtful feedback at all levels is appreciated — even as a new volunteer, I was encouraged to share my thoughts with all staff, and what I said was taken seriously. It's clear that the staff trusts each other to do a good job, and that each member deserves that trust.

The work All Our Kin does isn't sexy, but it's the kind of work that makes a real difference. I had the pleasure to attend the annual conference at Gateway Community College, and let me tell you that this organization means the world to the people it serves. I had countless providers come up to me and thank me for volunteering; everyone seemed over the moon and feeling empowered. It was a wonderful event. If you're in the New Haven area and are looking for an organization to work with, you really can't do any better than All Our Kin.

Board Member

Rating: 5

All Our Kin is a unique and inspiring organizations that supports and trains home child care providers. These providers are (mostly) women who are the first teachers of some of our most vulnerable children and, with the support of All Our Kin, are able to able set the children in their care on a path to lifelong learning and to create businesses that support their own families. Early childhood education is desperately needed in so many communities, and AOK has been one of the few sources of information, training and support to help the number of providers continue to grow in New Haven and now in other communities.

skb

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I moved home to New Haven, I wanted to get involved with a non-profit affecting social change, and making a measurable impact in an efficient manner. In finding All Our Kin, I lucked out. This organization is a simple model which specifically targets the economic and educational disparities existing in my hometown. All Our Kin improves the quality of home based childcare for the youngest citizens, which has noted effects: the CHILDREN are prepared for school in safe, nurturing environments; WOMEN (often under educated and under employed) receive quality training to operate home based businesses caring for these children; and, PARENTS with young children feel assured that their children are well cared for and re-enter the labor force themselves. There are not many organizations that improve the lives of so many people in a community. Much of this is only possible because of the clarity, focus and devotion of the staff at All Our Kin.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member, donor and citizen, I want to see a non-profit organization mindfully progress, providing needed services efficiently, constantly evaluating and improving their offerings. AOK blows me away and thankfully, they are receiving the deserved recognition for the huge impact their services make on children, women, families and communities.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

All Our Kin is an inspiring organization in the field of early childhood education. All Our Kin's model of passionate advocacy and thoughtful, dedicated empowerment touches providers, children, and families across the state of Connecticut and impacts early childhood education policy across the nation.

I can say with complete confidence that everyone who works at All Our Kin cares deeply for the providers, the families, and the children that they work with. This shared passion for the welfare of young children and their providers leads not only to the success of the organization but also to the strong sense of community among the staff. Volunteering at All Our Kin I felt lucky, motivated, and inspired every day. I can't say enough good things about this organization!!!

Wendy65

Client Served

Rating: 5

Grasias a all Our Kin . puedo desarollarme mas como provedora de cuidado de ninos. se que en ellos tengo la ayuda y el apoyo para que mi daycare gresca mas profesional mente y para que yo sea una mejor persona con esperiensia para poder tratar a otras personas no importando su orijen ect. All Our Kin me ayudo con el comienso de mi negocio muy fasil mente y todavia continua haciendolo. thnks to Sara y otros miembros del programa por ser tan kin y por su ayuda a la comunidad.

Donor

Rating: 5

All Our Kin is a successful organization due in large part to the leadership at the top, Jessica Sager and Janna Wagner. Their vision 10 years ago, to support family childcare workers, improve the quality of instruction within family childcare setting and provide a meaningful network for family childcare workers, revolutionized the profession of home childcare workers. After 10 years, All Our Kin has moved from a small, New Haven-based family childcare network to being a national model. Well Done AOK!

Donor

Rating: 5

All Our Kin is an amazing non-profit organization in the realm of early childhood education and training. On a meager budget, they've been able to increase the supply of quality child care in the community. They allow parents to enter the workforce without worrying about the care of their children. In addition, a recent economic analysis of the Tool Kit Licensing Project demonstrated that childcare providers have increased their income and well being of their families. When thinking about how best to close the achievement gap that exists today, many concerned citizens and/or politicians are working to create opportunities/solutions for students in middle school, high school or applying to college. I argue that we need to take a look at quality early childhood education and All Our Kin is having monumental success in this area. Other communities throughout the country should take notice. If I had a million dollars to give, it'd be to All Our Kin.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

From my experience working with non profits, AOK is one of only a ahnful that I can say "walks the talk" when it comes to respecting and empowering those who they work with to be economically viable and providers of quality services. This organization, unlike any other, goes the extra mile to make sure that the family child care providers receive the training and support that is responsive to their cultural and language needs. For example, when you go their annual conference of family child care providers you will see a room of over 200 hundred people and every presentation and workshop is simultaneously being translated. Everything they do is top quality and strategic. They are a inspiration to others throughout the city, the region and the state. If only there were the resources to have this gem work with all the family care providers in the state ... then we could be sure that infants and toddlers were getting the best care they could and that thier parents would be geeting the support of a trined child care provider.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As someone who is concerned about the quantity and quality of care for children ages birth to five, I am so happy to have All Our Kin in our community helping to address this issue. For over 10 years they have helped to increase the number licensed family day care providers in the city--an amazing feat when statewide there has been a rapid decline in licensed family child care homes. Keeping homes open is about supporting the providers--offering information, consultation, community. They do it. They do it well.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The staff at All Our Kin are inspiring in their vision for and committment to community development in New Haven. Their support of their childcare providers is amazing- constant and thorough. I feel fortunate to have had the guidance of All Our Kin in finding a childcare provider for my son and am so proud that the extraordinary home daycare that he attends is affiliated with AOK.

Board Member

Rating: 5

All Our Kin is an extraordinary organization. It's mission is clear, and it does what it says it will do -- support families and children and provide high quality, meaningful training to many in the early childhood field. It focuses particularly on family childcare providers, often the most vulnerable and underserved providers in the field. I have been an early childhood director for forty years, a teacher, supervisor, trainer and college faculty member. I am also a founding member of he All Our Kin board . In all the work I do in this field I cannot think of an organization with more integrity, vision, energy and caring. And certainly there is none that delivers a better product and services to children, families and teachers and the community..

Board Member

Rating: 5

What drew me to All Our Kin was their vision and capacity to execute. Serving both children and parents, All Our Kin makes an immediate impact but also lays the framework for long-term success. In my time with them, I've seen the entire team mirror the dedication and passion that is apparent in their leadership. With that in mind, I am confident that the successes to date are just the beginning.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The home day care provider that my 6 month old foster daughter attends, and has attended since 3 weeks old, is now an extension of the family. The quality of care she receives is phenomenal. The Provider loves her, build relationships between the kids she has, and is constantly interested in her development and health. I am so grateful to have stumbled upon an All Our Kin trained day care!

Board Member

Rating: 5

All Our Kin increases the availability and quality of child care for Connecticut families, while simultaneously supporting new businesses. All Our Kin's dedicated staff truly care and treat each person with whom they work with respect. All Our Kin gives nothing less than excellence to any project it touches, and that drive and deciation to doing it right are what sets All Our Kin apart.

Donor

Rating: 5

All Our Kin is an extremely effective organization that empowers women, creates new businesses, and improves the quality and availability of childcare. The directors and staff are smart, creative, compassionate, committed, hardworking, and visionary.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

All Our Kin demonstrates that creative engagement with communities can transform both families and communities. The staff and leadership of this organization are tireless advocates for social change.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I think All Our Kin is the most brilliant idea ever for a nonprofit, creating day care and job training solutions at once. I hope this expands--we need this in New York!

10

Donor

Rating: 5

What stands out most at All Our Kin is the enthusiasm and dedication of the staff. The staff is a living example for their clients in how to succeed in a service sector business. No task is beneath anyone on the staff when it comes to serving a client. I made an in-kind donation of a bed for a client’s child and I was inspired when a staffperson showed up to pick it up with her husband because they had the right size vehicle for the job.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

All Our Kin provides women with the tools to not just address their current needs and challenges, but to acquire the skills, knowledge and motivation to build a better life for themselves and their children.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

Because of All Our Kin, New Haven is a better place. I am an individual donor and participate with others in reviews that result in monetary awards from philanthropic organizations. We consider the return on investment to be "priceless' Not only are day care providers educated, trained and financed (when needed),and assisted with licensing; the children for whom they are responsible are given the tools for success in school. A donation to this group is the paradigm for a "hand Up" rather than a "hand Out" They also provide their expertise in a bilingual forum. They encourage continuing education for their clients.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have observed All Our Kin from many different perspectives -- as a donor, a researcher, and a board member -- in the past eight years I have been acquainted with the organization. The staff's unwavering commitment to the families in the communities they serve is unparalleled in the greater New Haven area. All Our Kin offers rigorously designed programs created to have the greatest impact in the communities they serve. The organization's ability to serve two groups -- family childcare providers and the children in their care -- simultaneously and effectively is what makes All Our Kin so unique and highly revered, both locally and nationally.

8

Former staff

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with All Our Kin as a college student, and I was so incredibly inspired by the work of the organization and its leaders that I joined the staff after graduation. The vision and intellect of All Our Kin's founders have made it one of the most successful grassroots organizations I've ever seen, and their warmth and spirit has drawn hundreds of families, child care providers, and community members to their organization's welcoming doors. This is a hands-on organization that makes a direct impact in the early childhood education opportunities for the community's young children.

15

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a pediatrician and when I am n an exam room discussing how a family plans to care for their young child, I am constantly faced with the question of who--who is not in the exam room with us--is caring for the child and who is helping those child care providers do the best for the child? All Our Kin is a fabulous organization because they recognize how important the role of the child care provider is in caring for young children. They improve the quality of child care for all children in greater New Haven.

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This non-profit is run by two compassionate and brilliant women who inspire me with their tireless dedication to low-income families. The two Ivy League graduates—one trained as an educator, one as a lawyer—opted-out of white collar career trajectories to create a program where families could move out of poverty and into the workforce. The program trained inner-city mothers to become certified day-care workers while simultaneously providing child care for their children while they were in educational classes. Now, nearly a decade later, their grassroots non-profit, All Our Kin, has expanded its vision – to provide all children, regardless of socio-economic background, with all the advantages that our privileged society is capable of providing. If All Our Kin had additional monetary resources they would be able to expand their efforts to reach additional communities in need. I have worked directly with a group of their Hispanic child-care providers when I offered a free yoga class aimed at teaching skills for stress reduction and mindfulness. I found the providers to be dedicated and heartfelt individuals who have directly benefited their communities through their day care centers.

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having heard about what great work Janna and Jessica are doing in our community, I interviewed them for the Lifespan Development textbook I am writing. That way, readers of the text are exposed to careers that are outside of the usual trajectory (e.g. Psychology, Education, Nursing, Social Work, etc.), but very much benefit the development of children and adults. I also discuss All Our Kin with my university students every semester, and have some students that would like to volunteer. Many of my students are of modest means though, and work full-time in addition to taking courses full-time. Were All Our Kin to have increased financial support, I believe a greater number of students could become involved, even as part-time interns. Should that be the case, more of the community would be served by their fantastic organization.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All Our Kin was founded and is run by two passionate, dedicated, and creative young women who ten years ago recognized a need and moved to fill it. The program has an impact on the people it serves and the broader community. Home day care providers are given the tools and support to successfully create a safe, healthy, stimulating environment for an underserved population of children. The providers are offered training, technical assistance and a network of like minded professionals so that they may move toward accreditation and beyond. Enabling the providers, mostly women previously unemployed, to become small business owners has had a positive economic impact on their communities.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All Our Kin is a friendly organization that provides a wonderful service to New Haven. Their mission to train and equip low-income home caregivers throughout the city helps the women, provides new opportunities and education for the children, and makes the city safer. This is a great non-profit, staffed by two lovely women who know what they're talking about.

12

Donor

Rating: 5

All Our Kin represents the finest in proactive and forward thinking in the Greater New Haven Community, when it comes to programs that benefit our area's youth. By providing support, training and access to grant subsidies for otherwise unskilled and unqualified (and, oftentimes, unemployed) individuals, AOK provides a mechanism for them to learn and perfect a highly marketable skill as a certified provider of home day care services. This is a win-win for all involved. The trainees become highly contributing members of the community; additional slots for quality day care are created, thereby addressing some of the historical shortages that exist in the communities that need this the most (enabling parents to pursue gainful employment; and, the children who participate in these day care programs have a leg up in the development of social and academic skills, the absence of which would otherwise predispose them to deficient outcomes in their school careers. AOK makes possible these terrific results with a minimal budget, thanks to visionary leadership and a dedicated, mission-minded staff. It's a wonderful organization, and is a model of creativity, ingenuity and success in our region.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

AOK provides a high-quality program that actively meets the needs of the community. Its leaders are long-term active members of the New Haven community who bring expertise (including degrees from Yale Law and the Harvard Graduate School of Education) and unparalleled passion to their work.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All Our Kin is a unique organization founded by two very dedicated, thoughtful, and idealistic young women in response to changes in the welfare system that were forcing parents (mostly moms) to make choices between working and caring for their children. AOK empowers women by giving them the tools they need to become owners of their own businesses and professional childcare providers.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

All Our Kin provides an essential service to the city of New Haven. The program not only provides people with job skills but with life skills. The participants receive expert knowledege in child development and quality child care. Study after study shows the importance of the first three years of a child's life. Children who attend family child care provided by AOK graduates know how to provide the optimal environment to enable children to be successful throughout their lives. AOK has a commitment to the entire community shown by their offering of bilingual training. All of their sessions are taught in English and Spanish. The mix of participants provides a richer learning environment for all. Every year they offer a conference for family child care providers that is very well attended. Various workshops are offered as well as a keynote address. Providers always have high praise for the event and leave energized to continue their work.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to know this nonprofit threw the State of Connecticut when at that time I was getting assitance from the State. Somnething that I dind't want to be on. I was always a hard working single mom. But there are times that you can't make it on your own and you need the help. I heard of the program threw my Social Worker from the state and he helped me get in the program. I was very very happy that he got me this opportunity to do this kind of work. All our kin help me get my self esteem back up. I was with All our Kin from 2002-2003; I met about 5 other girls in the same situation as me but some of them just went to All our Kin just to go becuase if they didn't go they will have there assitance taken away. The honest truth is that All our Kin has help me alot. It was like going to work every single morning. It thought us the responsiblity of getting up in the morning and going to work. "very cool" not alot of people like to get up and go to work. The staff what to say about them;they are the nicest staff that i have ever met. They are understandable, nice, fun, loving and caring. They were always there for you when you needed a helpiong hand. I also was exicited when All our Kin went to Washington DC "THE ALL AMERICAN CITY" and we won! I was very proud of all of us. Especialy for ALL OUR KIN. The services were be on expected they did what ever it took for you to be the best provider in the City. the results from this nonprofit is that you leave with a job in your hands after you graduate from the program or you end up opeinging your own Chid Care Center. This is what makes ALL OUR KIN AMASING. When I graduated from ALL OUR KIN I started to work at a family Chid Care Center. You will make it but you have to believe in yourself and always say to yourself that you can do it. I will alwyas thank ALL OUR KIN for what they did for me. For me I will recomend ALL OUR KIN to every single mom that wants to make it on there own. All our Kin is one of the best programs that I have been in. Keep the Good work up!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since it began in 1999, All Our Kin has been improving the quality and accessibility of child care in New Haven. Their programs are data-driven and need-based, and their results very impressive. While other communities in Connecticut have lost child care teachers in past 10 years, leaving few care options for low-income families, the number of family child care teachers in New Haven--and the quality of the care provided--has increased, thanks to All Our Kin.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

Whether you consider yourself a "bootstrapper" or a "bleeding heart," AOK delivers undeniable results that positively impact the lives of professionals, parents, children and entire neighborhoods. The leadership and their employees' dedication to quality early education, empowerment and community is extraordinary to witness (as a current board member)and enviable to all those who wish to make a difference with their own lives.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Innovative, with measurable impact on the lives of women and children, All Our Kin has developed an effective model for breaking the cycle of poverty in New Haven. It's "win-win" for everyone involved when formerly unemployed mothers get the support and guidance to open home-based daycare centers serving neighborhood children. These women become early educators of otherwise high risk pre-schoolers, and children thrive in creative, clean, organized households.