Play Lab Foundation

To our DEY family,

When I sat down to apply for Defending the Early Years’ mini-grant, I was looking to do impactful work for the children that I served. Unbeknownst to me, a series of life-changing events, the ability to be out of “survival mode” so I could think and learn, and the opportunity provided by your grant, a seismic shift in my path broke apart my ideas of what it means to do impactful work, and how to truly be of service. And because of it, over the last 78 days, I have realized my career’s most purposeful work.

With check in hand, and winter gear in my online shopping cart, I had two emails in my inbox that were running through my mind and heavy on my heart. One was from a young mother desiring care for her baby, disheartened when she realized the price point was one she could not afford, and another from a newly enrolled family who unexpectedly fell upon hard times and could no longer maintain childcare tuition along with their other necessary living expenses. Both families were of the global majority. Both children were deserving of the care that I provide. The thought occurred: If every child has a right to high-quality care, why was I turning children away? Advocating for equitable high-quality care is more than telling others about its importance, it is showing the value through service. Access is more than donating to causes I believe in, it is being the cause I believe in. Quality care is not a privilege, it is a human right. And with that in mind, I used the funds to establish our nonprofit called the Play Lab Foundation.

At The Play Lab, we believe that quality, access, and equity, or QAE is not exclusive to race, privilege, demographic, or neurotype and our vision is to provide a child-centered, holistic approach to care that not only fulfills a child’s basic needs but exceeds those needs by investing in family engagement, meaningful relationships, and continued education of our staff.We have done remarkable things in such a short amount of time and I am eagerly anticipating all of the good we put out into the world. I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to make this transformation a reality.

With all my gratitude,

Kisa Marx

The Play Lab Foundation

Oak Park, Illinois 60302


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