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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.