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Plan to Direct $170 Million in Emergency Funding to Stabilize Child Care Industry Statewide PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 19 October 2023 13:08

childcare"The truth is, Wisconsin child care providers, parents, and workforce can’t afford continued Republican inaction," says Gov. Evers.


MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today delivered the Democratic Radio Address highlighting his announcement directing $170 million in emergency funding to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families to continue the Child Care Counts Stabilization Payment program at its current levels through June 2025. While the emergency stopgap measure does not meet the same funding levels Child Care Counts has received previously, it will still provide direct relief to over 4,400 child care providers across the state to help ensure child care providers can afford to keep their doors open and continue providing care for kids to keep workers in Wisconsin’s workforce.

The governor’s action comes as Republican legislators have spent months delaying action on and refusing to pass Gov. Evers’ comprehensive workforce plan to address the state’s generational workforce challenges, including ongoing state investments to prevent the child care industry’s collapse, expand paid family leave, bolster high-need workforce sectors, and provide substantial support for higher education to help train, retain, and recruit workers.

Republicans’ failure to provide any additional support to child care providers statewide comes even as the state has ample resources readily available to invest in addressing pressing challenges. Gov. Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Administration announced earlier this week that the state of Wisconsin ended the fiscal year with a record-high positive balance of more than $7 billion in state coffers and that the state maintained its ‘rainy day fund’ at a record-high $1.8 billion.

Funding for the Child Care Counts program is set to expire in January 2024 under federal allocations. According to a report from The Century Foundation, absent continued investments in the Child Care Counts program in Wisconsin, 2,110 child care programs are projected to close, resulting in over 87,000 children without child care and the loss of over 4,880 child care jobs. Additionally, the lack of access to child care could potentially cause about half a billion dollars in economic impacts across the state. More details about the governor’s emergency funding to stabilize child care statewide can be found here.

Audio File to Radio Address.

tony-eversHi there, Wisconsinites. Governor Tony Evers here.

Republicans are dragging their feet on the most pressing issues facing our state even as Wisconsin’s small businesses, farmers and producers, hospitals and healthcare sectors, and schools, among other critical employers and industries, continue to face significant challenges filling available jobs.

And with each day of Republican delay and inaction, Wisconsin families, employers, and communities—especially in our rural areas—pay the price.

Child care centers are closing their doors in communities like Lancaster and Cashton; providers are raising their rates so that they can pay their staff and their bills; kids and families are on child care waitlists, if they can find care nearby at all.

The truth is, Wisconsin child care providers, parents, and workforce can’t afford continued Republican inaction.

I’m announcing emergency stopgap funding to stabilize our state’s child care industry and prevent its imminent collapse.

I’m directing $170 million to continue the Child Care Counts program to help support our child care industry through the end of the biennium, providing direct relief to over 4,000 child care providers statewide.

I promised to do everything I could to stabilize our child care industry, support working families, and recruit, retain, and train a workforce that can meet the needs of the 21st Century, and I keep my promises.

But I also want to be clear: while I am hopeful this investment will stave off an urgent collapse of our state’s child care industry, this is a stopgap measure and will still not make our child care providers whole.

Republicans must do the right thing, put politics aside, and join us in the important work of finding real solutions for the real challenges facing our state.

And I’ll keep fighting for child care providers, working families, employers, and our communities every day until they do.

Thank you.

 
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