MADISON — An additional $30 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) money will be directed to supporting Wisconsin early child care and education providers, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday. The funds will allow the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to pay for an additional round of Child Care Counts payments.
“As I’ve said before, what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state,” Evers said in a news release. “Our early care educators stepped up in a big way for Wisconsin families – and their kids – to help keep our state’s economy strong during the pandemic. Frankly, our state needs them now more than ever. These funds are a recognition of the vital role they play in our communities.”
Slightly more than 12 percent of the state’s 4,444 early child care and education providers remain closed because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has highlighted the role access to early care and education plays in returning everyone, but especially women, to the workforce.
The additional round will of funding will be distributed through two, new programs targeted at the current challenges early care and education providers are facing. Applications and program eligibility details will be available starting next Wednesday (Sept. 9) DCF’s website with the application window closing at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 18. Payment notifications will be issued on Sept. 26. For more information, visit https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/.