SPOTLIGHT: The Importance of an Early Childhood Education

Early childhood programs are an influential approach for school readiness. They are design to establish a critical foundation for their academic success and future well-being. Teachers and staff are trained to recognize individual needs, skills and abilities enabling them to address specific needs as children’s body and brain are undergoing rapid development.

The early years of a child offer opportunities to prevent, prepare, motivate and instruct under a healthy routine and structure. Children are able to develop good habits essential for their school experience and successful future.


As a young mother of two small children, 18 years ago, I was faced with one of the most challenging decisions a parent has to make, the search for daycare. I am grateful for my mother’s help in the consuming task of research, enquires and visits on our search for a daycare that would fit our needs and at the same time fulfill my motherly expectations; however, we found ourselves where we first began.

The disappointments and frustrations we experienced led us to one of the most fruitful decisions we have made; the decision to open our own daycare center. A different kind of research was about to begin… how to find our way into opening our own daycare center, and that’s where our story and De Colores Daycare dream began.

In 2004, both my mother and I enrolled in the required courses to open our own daycare center and a year later in 2005, we opened the doors of De Colores Daycare Center in our family home keeping up to the maximum capacity of eight children. Two years later, in June of 2007 we acquired the building where our Center is located today, on Muskego Avenue.

My mother and I were challenged with the need to return to school to obtain an Associate Degree in Early Childhood. For that purpose, in 2008 we enrolled at the Milwaukee Area Technical College where we graduated from in 2011 with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood with an additional Administrator’s Credential.

It took three years of sacrifices in maintaining the center in good standing while attending night school, but with the support of our families and our determination to offer the best of ourselves, we pursued the dream of growing and expanding De Colores Daycare Center

Today, after 17 years of serving our community, we attribute our success to the great team-work and dedicated commitment of our long-term teachers who day by day share our vision, goals and passions. In 17 years, it has been our experience that word-of-mouth has been our best marketing, a fact of which we are so grateful and proud. We know this could not have been achieved without the contribution of our loyal community. Presently we have a capacity of 28 pre-school aged children including infants and toddlers and a total of seven teachers under my direction.

We diligently worked through the pandemic months and followed all CDC guidelines. We are participants of the State of Wisconsin Youngstar Program, which rates different areas of quality within the daycare operation. Daycares are rated from one to five stars and De Colores Daycare Center has consistently rated four stars, something that sounds easier than it is.

We recognize that every child is in need of a solid foundation in preparation for school, and we are determined to provide and empower each child with the necessary tools to succeed. We take pride in our team-work and the best part is that we get to enjoy what we do every day. We sincerely care for every single child that walks through our doors and while we do this, we help fulfill the needs of their parents or guardians.

De Colores Daycare has made a difference in the lives of many children throughout the past 17 years, yet, we continue to find ways to better serve as we plant seeds in the young lives under our charge. My mother, Socorro Villalobos and I, Ana Rojas, are grateful for the support of our awesome team and the community we serve.

Written By Ana Rojas



SPOTLIGHT: Maria Vidal

Maria Vidal is originally from Mexico City. She began her profession as an early childhood educator in 2000. She studied and worked in a child care center for 6 years. By 2017, Maria had completed 4 credentials and her GED certificate.

Maria really wanted to start hey own daycare that’s what she told a coworker and she talked to the president and founder of the united providers association, Carmen Hernandez, where she kindly gave her information and support by giving her the tools to start guiding her through the procedures of applying for a family day care license. In the same year 2017, Maria obtained the license for the family day care under her name.

Maria said “this job has been the best one that I’ve had in my life because it has given me the peace of mind of taking care of my children and being at home. But above all the satisfaction and happiness of caring for the children who overtime become part of my family and it is a great achievement to know that I am part of their future and it makes me feel proud of myself — because I see that the children leave prepared to continue with their studies” that makes me feel happy”.

Maria continues to educate herself and has goals that she wants to achieve, including finishing her degree in early education.


SPOTLIGHT: Overcoming Reflection

My name is Marlene Gonzalez Castro, I am of Puerto Rican origin, I am 37 years old. I am a mother of 8 children from two different relationships. I was born in a common family with many general needs but not extreme deficiencies. As part of my growth I learned the essentials that they teach you at home, responsibilities at home.

I had my first son at a very young age, because of this I did not finish school. I came to Milwaukee with two children and my partner to live with relatives, looking for better stability for my family. There were many obstacles that prevented me from continuing my studies, including domestic abuse, the language barrier, and lack of education. At 20 years old, I was already a mom of 4 children, at 26 years old a mom of 8, 6 boys and 2 girls. I spent a lot of time raising my kids as a single mom until i was able to start my high school equivalency diploma where I graduated that year. My goal is to start a technical career in culinary arts.

“Education is very important in all aspects to be able to achieve our dreams. “

Marlene Gonzalez

He obstacles from the past have stayed behind, and I found bilingual programs in which they are already helping me with the procedures to enter MATC. I feel like a fulfilled person in which it fills me with satisfaction. I am putting all my desire to achieve my goals and successes so that my children and my families feel proud of what I have been able to achieve.