Red Caboose fosters a sense of community among children, their families, and staff, with a commitment to diversity and inclusion. We provide excellent education, nutrition, and play-based learning for children in a nurturing, safe environment emphasizing healthy social-emotional development.
Red Caboose was founded by a group of parents as a nonprofit child care center in 1972. Parent involvement has always been an integral part of the center; parents are a majority on the Board of Directors, and are involved through committees as well as in the day-to-day program. There is a lot of staff participation in the management as well. We have a dedicated and talented group of people working at Red Caboose, two-thirds of whom have been here for twenty years or more.
Red Caboose is the oldest independent center in Madison. It is licensed by the state and accredited by the city of Madison. We have three programs: the child care center, after school at Lapham Elementary, and after school at Marquette Elementary.
The main emphasis in our program is on the social and emotional development of children. The most important goal for the children in our care is that they feel safe, comfortable, nurtured and loved at Red Caboose. We strive to help children learn that people are different, and that this is good. We foster friendships and relationships among the children, and between the children and teachers.