Red Caboose: Child care leader Red Caboose gets $50K from anonymous donor while celebrating 50 years of service, still in need of funding to support relocation

MADISON, Wis. (March 1, 2022) — Red Caboose Child Care Center is celebrating a recent $50,000 anonymous donation and 50 years serving Madison as the most innovative nonprofit child care center in the area. 

Set to celebrate its 50th Anniversary on Wednesday, March 2, Madison’s first accredited child care center received a compassionate donation to support the move to Winnebago Street, with Red Caboose having outgrown its well-known current location on Williamson Street.

The inclusive center’s Capital Campaign needs to raise $1.5 million to embark on creating an environment that will be the future of development — affordable, inclusive child care combined with accessible, affordable housing in a space that will provide great benefits to the Madison community. The child care center’s Capital Campaign is funding a multi-use building at 2340 Winnebago St. for kids and families. 

A larger facility is needed to accommodate the growing number of children on the waitlist. This comes at the same time as the rising childcare gap for parents who are struggling. Unless parents have a local childcare option they can trust, many will not go back to work.

The Otto Bremer Trust will match all new donations to the Red Caboose capital campaign dollar-for-dollar up to $150,000, giving the child care center the opportunity to secure $300,000 to help build the child care center on Madison’s East Side. The recent anonymous and selfless donation moves Red Caboose closer to receiving the full match from the generous grant.

Red Caboose will own the ground floor of the building. The new space will allow Red Caboose to serve three times more children. More than 38% of students are children of color and 32% come from low-income families, qualifying for financial and meal support. Relocating to Winnebago Street will include referral and support services for children and families, including more support for special needs children. Eighty percent of the families at the center receive tuition support. 

“As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are proud to share our quintessentially Madison story while collaborating with our families, staff, donors, and community partners to write the next chapter,” Jason Anderson, Executive Director of Red Caboose said.

The new building, near East Washington Avenue and Sixth Street, will activate a long-vacant site, strengthen housing stability in the area and enable Red Caboose to serve more children and families. The building will have 70,000 square feet of space in four stories, with underground parking.

The move to the East side of Madison comes in partnership with Movin’ Out, Inc., which specializes in developing affordable housing. Movin’ Out Inc. partners with people with disabilities, their families, and their allies to create and sustain community-integrated, safe, affordable homes. They will own the second through fourth stories of the building, with a planned 38 apartment units. 

“We have a long tradition of serving diverse communities in Madison, and we want that legacy to continue in our new location,” Anderson said. “Please donate today.”

The 2340 Winnebago St. location will include:

  • Red Caboose will own a childcare center on the ground floor (21,000 sq. ft.) 
  • Movin’ Out will own the second, third and fourth floors, a total of 38 affordable apartment units) 
  • Meets Wisconsin Green Built Home standards of sustainability and energy
  • Part of urban in-fill development, future Bus Rapid Transit access point