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Featured Non-Profit: Malaika’s Early Learning Center


Who We Serve
Malaika is licensed by the state to serve 70 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years, in our child care program and 60 students in our kindergarten program. Enrolled children represent many neighborhoods across the city of Milwaukee. About two-thirds of the children enrolled come from single-parent households, with over 90% of parents earning incomes at or below the Federal low-income level.

What We Do
All classrooms are led by licensed, certified staff, and feature small class sizes that are held in our state-of-the-art facility built in 2003, providing a stimulating an safe environment.

Licensed Early Care & Education – Malaika operates a 5 star rated licensed early care & education program that serves children ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age and participates in the Wisconsin Shares program. Our quality early care and education features:
· Creative Curriculum, a developmentally appropriate teaching that supports early learners in cognitive, social, physical and emotional skills in infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
· Highly qualified early education teachers
· Teacher/child ratios that always meet Department of Children and Families State of Wisconsin standards.
· Collaborative teacher and family relationships that support the individual needs of children

K4 & K5 Kindergarten – Malaika’s full-day program uses industry-best curriculum to that upon completion, students are at and above 1st grade, reading, writing, problem solving and social/emotional skills. Our quality kindergarten programming features:
· DPI licensed teachers and low student/teacher ratios
· Bi-monthly educational field trips; music education with Wisconsin Conservatory of Music; nature education with Schlitz Audubon Nature Center; French language class with Alliance Française de Milwaukee; art education with Artists Working in Education.
· Milwaukee Parental Choice Program support for about 60 students annually.

Before/After School – Malaika provides a safe, nurturing place for children ages 4 to 12 before and after school. Highly qualified teachers lead the students in a rich educational environment.

Family Enrichment: Malaika collaborates with families to engage them in the learning process and provides opportunities for them to be involved in decision-making.

Achievements and Plans
• Family involvement is strongly encouraged with annual participation of at least 70% each year.
• Malaika’s Board of Directors sustains a 100% rate of giving in support of the organization.
• Malaika is planning and preparing for the nationally-recognized NAEYC accreditation.

Why this Work is Important

The low-income children Malaika serves are confronted with a daunting set of challenges that threaten to undermine their ability to succeed academically and to become productive citizens later in life. Multiple studies have shown that it’s better to help a child develop important life skills early, rather than intervene later after that child has experienced social, academic, or other problem behaviors. Lower criminal arrest rates, higher school graduation rates, and higher lifetime earnings are the results shown by several early childhood programs similar to Malaika’s. Prevention is not only better for the children, it is highly cost-eective: $4-$8 of societal cost are saved for every dollar invested in quality, early childhood education.

How You Can Help
A gap exists between funds received from government subsidies and the amount parents can afford to pay for Malaika’s quality prgograms. Foundation and corporate grants fill a portion of that gap, but individual contributions are also needed. Annually, Malaika seeks to raise $200,000 to build the critical educational foundation our children deserve.