Fifteen years ago we founded Next Generation Now (NGN) to give every child we served a healthy start in life and prepare them for success in school. Our location, in the heart of Racine's central city neighborhoods, emphasized our focus on the children and families most in need in our community.
We believed then, and now, that for NGN to fulfill its mission, it would need to be self-sustaining, with a secure, steady funding stream to cover its basic costs over the long-term. Achieving that has been a challenge, as state childcare subsidies have simply not kept pace with the rising cost of quality care. Despite this hurdle, since 2012 NGN has been recognized with a 5-Star rating, the highest possible awarded by Wisconsin's Young Star childcare quality initiative. Less than one in ten registered providers in the State have earned the 5-Star designation, which is a testament to our dedicated staff's commitment to quality.
It's hard to imagine how this would have been possible without partners like you who have supported our work so much over the years. That's why I am very pleased to tell you that we have identified a new operating model for NGN that will provide adequate resources to assure an ongoing, long-term commitment to fulfill NGN's mission.
As of May 1, NGN will be dedicated to Early Head Start (EHS) programs for ages 0-3 years and Head Start (HS) programs for ages 4-5 years under the management of Acelero Learning, one of the nation's top-performing Head Start grantees. Their mission - the relentless pursuit of closing the achievement gap - could not be more aligned with that of NGN. Acelero Learning designs and implements innovative EHS and HS programs and practices, which are producing achievement gains two times better than the national average for Head Start programs. Currently, more then 4,500 children and families are served directly in Acelero Learning managed programs in four states, and another 100,000 benefit from their proven success models and practices through its unique technology and training partnerships with 125 other Head Start programs nationwide. Importantly, it is the combination of state childcare subsidies and the federal Office of Head Start grants, under Acelero's management expertise, that ensures the sustained funding required to provide quality care and programs.
Carrie Scruggs, our NGN Executive Director, has done a remarkable job through some very challenging times. Under her guidance and direction, we have taken quality to the next level. Over the next few months, she will play a pivotal role in assisting NGN families and staff during the transition, and in working with our network of local partners to identify new homes for NGN's other family support and afterschool services and programs.
This transition marks an important new start for NGN and a passing of the baton of leadership from our Board of Directors to Acelero Learning. Like others across the country, we are confident Racine too will be a stronger, healthier community because they are here.
1220 Mound Avenue
Racine, Wisconsin 53404-3336