Partners help ND expand impact
Big smiles from Tyler and Khalil! These buddies love playing together at Next Door.


Next Door partners with multiple local and national organizations to help our children develop a strong start in life. The partnerships listed below help Next Door expand the educational experiences for our children, and offer opportunities to spread our expertise and services to several community-based, childcare agencies.

Educare Learning Network

EDUCARE_LOGOThe Educare Learning Network is a group of public and private partners across the country, working together to create a strong and unique early childhood education experience for children from low income families. The Buffett Early Childhood Fund and the Ounce of Prevention are two principal partners, along with 25 Educare schools nationwide. Next Door opened the Educare School of Milwaukee in 2005, with a full-day, full-year program for children six weeks to 4K.

When students are enrolled in Educare, they become part of the Educare Implementation Study. This study tracks program quality and student outcomes at each school site, with the help of university research centers. This evaluation provides policy-makers and donors with hard evidence about the impact of high-quality early education on low income children.

Early Head Start Child Care Partnership (EHSCCP)

We’re growing at Next Door! In 2014, we received a $22 million award – the Federal Early Head Start Child Care Partnership grant. This award allows Next Door to lead a partnership with nine childcare agencies at 11 sites in Milwaukee County. Through the program, Next Door staff leads training at these agencies sharing our nationally-recognized expertise in early education. This expansion has allowed Next Door to reach an additional 344 infants and toddlers in a total of 70 classrooms.

The partners include:

  • COA Youth and Family Centers

    Found in 1906, COA serves Milwaukee children and families with centers in the Riverwest, Harambee and Amani neighborhoods. The agency focuses on a continuum of care for children, from early childhood education to teen programs, and offers home-based parent support services. Next Door is partnering with COA at its Riverwest and Burke locations.

  • Kindercare - West Allis

    This program is part of the national network of Kindercare Early Learning Centers. The West Allis location serves children from six weeks to 12 years old. Programs range from infant and preschool care to before & after school care for older children.

  • La Causa

    La Causa opened in 1972 on Milwaukee’s south side. The agency’s programming includes bilingual early childhood education, a K4-8th grade charter school and a family resource center with parenting support. Next Door is partnering with La Causa at its West Greenfield Avenue location.

  • Mailaika Early Learning Center

    Mailaika Early Learning Center has served children in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood since 2003. Programming at its West Auer Avenue site includes infant care through third grade.

  • Neighborhood House

    Neighborhood House has served Milwaukee children and families since 1945 on the city’s West Side. The agency offers a wide range of community service programming, from early childhood education to support for refugee families. Next Door is partnering with Neighborhood House at its main site along West Richardson Place.

  • St. Ann's Center for Intergenerational Care

    St. Ann’s, affiliated with Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, opened in Milwaukee in 1983. The agency focuses on health and educational services for children, adults, the elderly and people with disabilities. Next Door is partnering with St. Ann’s at its North Avenue location.

  • St. Joseph Academy

    St. Joseph Academy, affiliated with the Felician Sisters, has served Milwaukee’s children on the South Side since 1907. The agency began as an orphanage, and today offers educational programming ranging from infants to 6th grade at its West Oklahoma Avenue location.

  • YMCA

    The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee works to create a healthier, stronger and safer city through a variety of center-based educational and recreational programs for the entire family. Next Door is partnering with the YMCA at two of its locations, YMCA Northwest and YMCA Northside.

  • JO's Learning Academy

    JO’s Learning Academy opened in Milwaukee in 1967. Today, the agency has two school locations in the Uptown neighborhood on the northwest side and the Layton Boulevard neighborhood on the south side. JO’s programming ranges from Early Head Start to after school and summer activities for older children. Next Door is partnering with JO's at its south side school.


Next Door collaborates with the following organizations to help carry out our mission of supporting Milwaukee children and their families on a path toward success. We have contractual relationships with these groups to do everything from tracking student progress to developing strong and engaged fathers. These collaborations also help maintain the health of our children and provide them with a continuum of care during their Next Door experience.

  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

    Next Door collaborates with Children’s Hospital to help improve access to medical and dental care in one of the neighborhoods we serve. In 2011, Children’s Hospital opened a full-service clinic at our 29th Street campus. The clinic, called Next Door Pediatrics, offers services to our families as well as the community at large.

  • Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC)

    Next Door collaborates with MATC on Adult Education programs. Together, we have served more than 200 adult learners in our community. We offer instruction and guidance to successfully acquire a High School Equivalency Diploma and pursue higher education. We also work with MATC to provide credentials designed to further the education of child care professionals in our community.

  • Milwaukee Public Schools

    Next Door operates a K4/K5 Charter School in collaboration with Milwaukee Public Schools. We began this program in 2005 at our 29th Street location and expanded it to our Capitol Drive location in the fall of 2016. By working with MPS, we are able to keep our children with us for a longer period of time, offer lower teacher-student classroom ratios and provide our children with a smooth transition into first grade.

  • University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin

    Next Door collaborates with UWM to evaluate the work of our Educare program. UWM researchers collect data to assess child outcomes, teacher effectiveness and the educational environments. The data is then used to improve the services we provide to our children and families. UWM also provides training to our Educare staff.

  • Marquette University

    Next Door collaborates with Marquette University on research tracking the effectiveness of mindfulness programming and language development tools deployed at Next Door. The 414 Fellows program from AmeriCorps offers Marquette University students serving in Next Door classrooms for a school year with focus on building language and literacy development for children. Marquette University is also a key player in the Next Step Clinic at Next Door providing mental health and developmental services for underserved Milwaukee children and families.