Red Caboose out in front for helping low-income families

Red Caboose out in front for helping low-income families

Madison’s Red Caboose Day Care Center is celebrating its 41st year of providing care to families from all socio-economic backgrounds.

A scholarship program makes the mission of the non-profit eastside center possible, as well as the work of teachers and counselors like Jennifer Davidson.

According to Davidson, there is nowhere else that she would rather be spending her summer than at the Red Caboose.

“Coming to work every day is the funnest thing,” said Davidson.

In order to add to the fun for more children, Red Caboose provides $50,000 in scholarships to kids from low-income families, raising that money through events like a 5K run-walk held recently.

“Part of our mission is to be affordable and accessible to all families, regardless of their income level, their child’s special needs,” said Wendy Rakower, Red Caboose’s executive director.


Parents who are part of Red Caboose’s family are quick to agree that the center is a special place.

“Having economic and other social, racial diversity was really important to our family,” said Anne Morrison. “I can’t tell you how many of my first memories took place at Red Caboose.”

Red Caboose is home to families, like Morrison’s, that have been enrolled for generations. Parents, kids, and teachers say that the center’s focus on community and diversity is what has them all coming back.

“I’ve been to so many different places and gone to different day cares, and I always go, ‘I’ve got to stop doing this, got to come back to Red Caboose,’ because you can just see it, how much they love their kids and how much they have fun,” said Davidson.

“We’re part of a community,” said Morrison. “This isn’t just a place where we drop off our kids 9-5, Monday through Friday, you know, it’s a big part of our life.”

About 40 percent of Red Caboose’s children come from low-income families.

The daycare also serves children who are homeless.

To contribute to the center’s scholarship fund, visit their web site.