53206 Early Care and Education Initiative

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Since 2020, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) has provided needed financial and professional development supports to the early care and education (ECE) workforce in 53206 to create movement in increasing YoungStar quality practices within child care programs. In order to increase quality, supports have been created to:

  • Increase accessibility to credit-based courses
  • Improve retention of professionals
  • Purchase and distribute learning materials to classrooms and programs
  • Provide trainings that align with community needs
  • Provide coaching and mentoring services to programs

Additionally, DCF supports families in 53206 by increasing subsidy rates and improving access to child care that meets their needs. 

The program has two main components:

  • Quality Workforce Investment – provides community-based early childhood coursework and trainings, scholarships and stipends (T.E.A.C.H and REWARD), and high-quality materials and coaching supports for providers in 53206.
  • Direct Services – Wisconsin Shares Parents – provides additional subsidy to parents of children birth to three years of age who reside in 53206 and are authorized to enroll in regulated, YoungStar participating providers. 
Update: Wisconsin Shares Subsidy Amount Continuation & Expansion for Children Birth through Four Years Old

Increased subsidy funding available until further notice.

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Increasing access and affordability of early care and education for children and families residing within the 53206 zip code requires support for local families. Effective February 2020, families residing in 53206 with an active Wisconsin Shares case, received an increased Wisconsin Shares Subsidy amount for any of their children who are between birth through four years old.

This increase helps to reduce the “parent share” of child care costs, which is the balance owed to the child care provider that isn’t covered by Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy.

This funding effort continues at the original rate of $105 for full-time care, or $79 for part time care until further notice.

The additional funding will be added monthly to the MyWIChildCare Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) card and will vary based upon whether child(ren) attends full or part-time child care. The added amount is shown on the Wisconsin Shares Authorization Notice.

The Monthly Wisconsin Shares Subsidy Add-On
Months the MyWIChildCare EBT Card will Receive Additional Funding Full-time  
Subsidy Increase
Part-time Subsidy Increase
July 2023 until further notice $105 $79
53206 logo

This continued funding effort is part of Governor Tony Evers’ 53206 Early Care and Education Initiative, which also provides more resources to your child care provider and will impact the quality of care provided to your children.

View the latest 53206 notice. DCF provides monthly contact to new 53206 program participants and does periodical check-ins with ongoing eligible 53206 families. 

What if I have Questions?
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If you reside in 53206 and have further questions that are specific to the 53206 Early Care and Education Initiative, please call the Milwaukee Early Care Administration to speak with a Parent Liaison at 1.888.947.6583 (Press 1, 1, 2, 1 to speak to a Parent Provider Liaison).

DCF will host upcoming parent information seminars to provide financial guidance on the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program and managing your child care costs.

Support Around Developmentally Appropriate Environments

Support Around Developmentally Appropriate Environments

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The Child Care Resource and Referral agency in Milwaukee, 4C For Children, holds a contract to distribute Early Learning and School-Age materials kits and provide consultation, trainings, and other resources to support developmentally appropriate environments (DAE) implementation in programs in the 53206 zip code. Priority access to these services is given to programs with 2 Star ratings, regulated programs not yet participating in YoungStar, and programs considering entering regulation. Those programs are eligible to receive technical consultation and support to increase the quality of their child care environment.  

Since inception, more than 235 kits containing high-quality early learning and school-age care materials have been distributed to programs in 53206. Four separate kits were developed based on the specific developmental needs within four age groups:

  • Birth to 12 months
  • 12 to 24 months
  • 24 to 36 months
  • 5 to 8 years

Virtual and on-site consultation is available to any program in 53206 to focus on high-quality teacher-child interactions, developmentally appropriate materials and activities, setting up play spaces and interest areas that are accessible and varied, and coaching support for reading and talking to children through purposeful play.

4C For Children will also be offering several free or low-cost trainings, based on the needs of the 53206 provider population. All programs with 2 and 3 Star ratings, newly regulated programs, and unregulated programs in the community of 53206 will have priority access to these trainings, which may include:

  • Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS)
  • Wisconsin Pyramid Model e-Modules with Reflective Coaching – Birth to Five
  • Pyramid Model Implementation Workshops

4C For Children has computers available in their Child Care Provider Resource Room for any providers who need accessibility and/or virtual technical assistance to complete their trainings and/or independent e-Module sessions.

This year, 4C For Children will be providing additional, targeted outreach and recruitment of child care programs to support foundational social emotional practices through training, coaching, and implementation. Supports will be available to all currently regulated and unregulated child care programs located in the community of 53206 including:

  • New and existing regulated child care programs
  • Programs that are regulated but not yet participating in YoungStar
  • Unregulated Family Child Care providers
  • All programs with 2 and 3 Star ratings

Additional Social-Emotional Focus in 2022-23

Dominica Shaw, Coach Coordinator  
4C-For Children  

Workforce Development and Retention

Workforce Development and Retention

Increasing Knowledge: The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has established contracts with Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), and Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA) to support child care teachers, directors, and providers to have access to free credit-based instruction and to increase the quality of the child care environment.

Through this project, WECA is offering an enhanced version of the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program - which includes tuition remission, learning materials, financial stipends, professional development counseling and ongoing coaching and mentoring- through three (3) ECE Pathway Options at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) .

  • Option 1: Credential #1 – Three 48-hour courses, earning 3 credits per course for a total of 9 credits towards an Administrator’s Credential
  • Option 2: Credential #2 – Three 48-hour courses, earning 3 credits per course for a total of 9 credits towards an Infant/Toddler Credential
  • Option 3: ECE Associate Degree Focus – Three 48-hour courses, earning 3 credits per course for a total of 9 credits towards an AA in ECE. All coursework is administered by MATC’s Office of Workforce Solutions, a full-service training and technical organization designed to work with employers and community-based organizations to meet the unique needs of their individual business and workforce. Courses are taught by state certified instructors and include an embedded Education Assistant. 

Each of the three educational pathways enrolls a cohort of 10 students, with potential openings for new students if cohort members are unable to continue with the 3-course series. Additional supports provided to cohort participants include:

  • Initial and ongoing, individualized professional and career counseling and pathway planning to participants
  • Information about the financial support package offered through the grant, credit training opportunities, and other topics as identified by participants
  • Professional resources to support early childhood best practices and developmentally appropriate practices, and a WISER membership 
  • School-life-work balance stipends to pay for travel, child care, internet, etc.
  • Enrollment and completion bonuses

Improving Retention: Through this project, WECA is also offering an enhanced version of the REWARD stipend program- which includes increased wage stipends to an expanded pool of educators in the 53206 zip code.

Results From Last Year

During the previous round of funding for these projects, 23 students completed 9 credits and 7 students completed 6 credits through one of the three educational pathways. All students identified as black women and no students indicated that they speak a language other than English. Most individuals that completed this program came from new programs that had not yet been rated, programs rated 2 Star, and programs rated 3 Star.

During the previous round of funding, a total of 109 professionals working in 53206 programs received a REWARD plus stipend of approximately $950. Recipients were predominantly women of color (106 of the 109 recipients identified as black) and had an average of 3.2 years of experience at their current program. Recipients came from 19 group and 36 family child care programs.

For more information, contact:
Gina Hobbs, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood WI Scholarship Counselor
Toll-free: 1.800.783.9322 x 7253
Telephone: 1.608.729.1053