Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

We believe Acorn to Oak Youth Development Center is for all regardless of race, color, religion, sex, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability including physical, mental, emotional or learning disability. 

Acorn to Oak Youth Development Center is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. To request reasonable accommodation, contact the Director at 608-285-2652 or ctipple@acorn2oak.org.



Acorn to Oak YDC is committed to embracing cultural diversity, preventing racism, and promoting success for all students. We recognize that racism is evident and embedded within societal norms. We recognize our own bias and know that we do not have all of the answers. However, we are committed to calling out racism when we see it, investigating racism when we hear it, and taking aggressive actions to eradicate its existence from our community. 

Staff will teach and model prosocial and culturally competent behaviors to prevent and eliminate actions that create or sustain racism and racial discrimination. Any racially motivated incidents will be met with reporting of violations, investigations of incidents, restorative disciplinary practices, healing and recovery culture, and student and employee discipline. Acorn to Oak is committed to a safe, respectful, nondiscriminatory out-of-school environment in which all members of the program and their families demonstrate respect and civility at all times. We encourage caregivers to assist with calling out inequities, to emphasize advocacy, social justice, social responsibility, multiculturalism, racial equity, and student involvement with diverse populations.

Transgender, Non-binary and Gender Expansive Students

We at Acorn to Oak YDC are dedicated to creating an inclusive and welcoming child care community, and feel we have a responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students. This includes allowing access to facilities that are consistent with students gender identity, using students affirmed name and pronouns, and consistently confronting suspected bullying or other behaviors that contribute to an unsafe child care community.

Staff will assume that our students are using facilities that are consistent with their gender identity and therefore, will not confront students about their gender identity upon entry to a restroom or changing area. Only if there are behavioral incidents in the restroom or changing area will staff develop a plan to prevent further incidents.

Students with Disabilities

Acorn to Oak YDC recognizes that peer interactions are an integral part of development for children of all abilities. We welcome all students who want to be a part of the Acorn to Oak YDC community and will make reasonable accommodations for a child of differing abilities. This may be in the form of using accessible walkways and facilities, making adaptations to activities and games, and working with outside organizations to provide additional support to the child and their family. While Acorn to Oak YDC cannot provide 1-1 care for any child, we welcome personal aides and family members into the program to provide the level of support needed for each child to be successful in the program.

We are best able to meet a child’s needs when special needs are identified prior to enrollment. When informed that a child has a special need, we may require a formal meeting with the family, Director, and any support staff. The purpose of the meeting will be to identify the child’s needs, to discuss what would be required for the program to meet the child’s needs, and to determine if outside resources are needed. Any outside resources staff working within an Acorn to Oak YDC program shall act as a support for Acorn to Oak YDC staff. The Acorn to Oak YDC staff is the primary caretaker; the resource staff is present to aid and support the child. Children who cannot attend to their own personal care needs are welcome if families provide an individual personal attendant.

If a child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), while not required, it is helpful for the program staff to receive a copy. This allows Acorn to Oak YDC staff to maintain consistent expectations and reinforcements for the child. We find children are most successful when the family, school and out-of-school staff have the same information and use the same strategies to help the child be successful.