Company Profile

Updated: September 2019


Industry: Non-profit, Preschool
Employees: 46 (32FTE/6 PTE/8 LTE Subs)
Organization Founded: July 30, 2014
First School Established: Sept 8, 2015

Contact Information

Kaleem Caire, Founder and CEO
2012 Fisher Street
Madison, WI 53713
(608) 268-8004


Kaleem Caire, Founder and CEO
Bryan Grau, VP & Elementary Principal
Linda Allen, Interim Preschool Co-Director
Chris Hodge, Interim Preschool Co-Dir.

Board Members

Theresa Balsiger
Robert Beckman
Bethe Bonke
Gordon Derzon
Carola Gaines
Joseph Krupp, Chair
Gloria Ladson-Billings, PhD
Lynn McDonald, PhD
Jodie Pope
Noble Wray

Organizational Mission

To seed a new model of public education that ensures young children are on track to succeed in a college or career preparatory program from birth through high school graduation.


A Greater Madison community where all children are prepared to contribute and succeed as adults.

Need for Early Education

In 2017, 83% of Black children were reading below grade level in Madison’s elementary schools (1,726 of 2,082 children), compared to 66% of White, 39% of Asian and 24% of Latino children.

The same year, 93% of Black children in middle schools were reading below grade level as well (902 of 970 children). While racial disparities in reading rates are significant, reading rates are low for all children across Dane County. Ensuring children have access to and are enrolled in high quality preschools that emphasize school readiness can help effectively mitigate these challenges.

Current State of Early Education

In 2016, there were 142 group day cares and preschools in Dane County: 137 enrolled children ages birth to 2; 147 enrolled children ages 3 to 5. Sixty six (66) of these centers are located in Madison and 76 are outside of Madison. Sixty-six (66) are also accredited centers, with 28 being accredited by the City of Madison and 38 by other accrediting agencies.

In 2016, the average weekly costs of accredited day cares and preschools in Dane County ranged from $324 for infants (birth to 1 year old) to $261 for children ages 3 to 5. State and local child care leaders agree that quality among early learning centers is lagging and the cost of high quality early learning is unaffordable to many families. More than 70% of low-income children in Dane County do not attend a full-time high quality early learning program.

Target Market

One City currently provides affordable, accessible, and high-quality preschool education for children ages 1 to 5 in Dane County. However, our school is intentionally designed to ensure children from the most economically and socially challenged families are prepared to succeed.

Business Model

One City takes a two-generation approach to ensuring children are succeeding. We provide a high quality early learning program for young children that directly responds to what research says children need to be healthy and successful. We also work directly with parents, helping them build strong bonds with their children, and access community resources and support that can help them move themselves and their children forward.

Five Core Values

1. Academic Excellence

2. Inspired Learning

3. Great Teaching

4. Engaged Families and Partners

5. Great Looking Schools

Educational Program

One City utilizes curricula focused on deep, student-driven learning that is project-based, inspiring, challenging and inspiring. The AnjiPlay Curriculum serves as the core of OCS’s preschool program and the Expeditionary Learning (EL Education) program serves as the foundation of its kindergarten and elementary school. Both are highly regarded curricula that produce passionate, high achieving children.  

Growth Strategy

Given the size of the unmet need described earlier, One City is focused on expanding to serve 1,000 preschool-aged children over the next 7 years and adding a grades 1 to 6 public charter elementary school, beginning with 1st grade in the fall of 2019-20. We currently operate two schools: One City Preschool (ages 1 to 3) and One City Expeditionary Elementary School: 4K & 5-year-old kindergarten (5K).

Providers Serving Low-Income Families

There are only two accredited early learning centers in Dane County that serve a population with more 50% of children in poverty: Reach Dane and Animal Crackers of Madison. Presently, 70% of One City’s children are low-income or require some level of a tuition scholarship in order to attend our preschool.

Competitive Advantage

Unlike the local childcare industry, which places a significant emphasis on play-based learning, One City has a deliberate focus on creative, culturally responsive and innovative learning guided by experienced, credentialed and diverse educators, a proven reading curriculum and an emphasis on parents and families. Additionally, One City offers a healthy meals program with a full-time chef and strong community partnerships. Our tuition rates are set below the industry average for our region and we offer tuition scholarships. We are open year-round, and offer full-day care and learning from 6:45am – 6:00pm Monday through Friday. We are also a 5-Star City of Madison Accredited Early Learning Center.