July 24, 2021

Jo’s Early Learning Academy

Impact Stories

group of children coloring in a school setting
group of children sitting on a rug in a school setting


Jo’s is located in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Milwaukee, an area with a 26% poverty rate and an unemployment rate of nearly 10%. Of the 300 children served by Jo’s Early Learning Academy prior to this expansion, nearly all receive assistance through the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program. There is a severe shortage of high quality early learning programming in the neighborhood, and Jo’s is an exemplary program. The children that attend Jo’s live in areas considered to be food deserts, where there are of lack stores that sell fresh fruits and vegetables. While there has been a substantial increase in the number of urban gardens in the area, access to fresh produce does not come close to meeting the need. Jo’s believes it can begin to reverse this unhealthy trend and help children, parents, staff and guardians learn how to improve their diets.


Jo’s needed financing to renovate their building at 4823-31 W. North Avenue in Milwaukee, one of three company properties. FCI helped Jo’s via $583,000 to help finance the renovation.


little girl showing her red painted hands
woman reading a book to toddlers in a school setting


The addition of these four new classrooms mean 80 more children will have access to kind of early learning opportunity that mountains of research has demonstrated to have a huge positive impact on school readiness and success later in life. The renovation of this 5,000 square foot building has added two classrooms, allowing Jo’s to serve 80 additional students. The newly rehabbed building includes a state of the art kitchen that will service all of Jo’s locations, providing healthy, local and nutritious foods daily.

And serves as a catalyst for this ongoing effort to help parents/guardians learn how to prepare healthy, nutritious meals, which will help reduce childhood obesity and associated poor health outcomes.

Jo’s Early Learning Academy was founded on the concept that “investing in quality early education and care is more cost-effective than trying to re-claim youth later.” Today, Jo’s Early Learning Academy is a licensed an accredited early learning center with a 5-Star rating in the state’s YoungStar quality rating and improvement system. Jo’s provides a nurturing, caring and safe environment for young children to develop and learn.

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