February 10, 2022
Contact: Gina Paige or Jamie Keehn, 608-422-7800 or


DCF Announces Additional $194 Million Investment in Early Care and Education Industry

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced plans for additional programs aimed at supporting Wisconsin’s early care and education (ECE) industry and the families it serves. The programs, which are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will run until 2024 and focus on increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care and supporting the ECE workforce.

“We appreciate the commitment of the Governor and the Joint Committee on Finance to address the challenges facing child care providers and families. Wisconsin has made an unprecedented investment in the early care and education industry, which has stabilized it to almost pre-pandemic levels,” said DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson. “These additional programs will help us continue to build upon that momentum and build a stronger ECE system that supports all Wisconsin families.”   

DCF submitted a formal request to the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) on December 3, 2021, outlining its proposed programs and received an amended approval on February 9, 2022, which includes:

  • $112.3 million to extend the monthly Child Care Counts payment program through the end of 2023
  • $30.6 million to expand the T.E.A.C.H. and REWARD programs
  • $15.9 million to pilot a child care assistance program aimed at connecting families receiving Birth-to-3 services with high-quality, affordable child care
  • $10 million to build an employer supported child care program where employers can receive funding to secure local child care slots
  • $8.4 million to continue and enhance the Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEESSN)
  • $5 million to build a statewide Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program to assist early care and education providers in addressing challenging behaviors and reduce program expulsions
  • $4.8 million to expand early childhood related services provided by Family Resource Centers
  • $2.5 million to design a new grant program to assist child care providers in becoming regulated
  • $906,760 to implement an ECE workforce employee assistance program
  • $480,000 to support healthy child development through evidence-based social emotional tools

With the addition of these programs, the Evers Administration has invested over $824 million in federal relief funds to stabilize and grow the ECE community. This historic investment has helped significantly reduce the number of permanent and temporary closures of licensed child care providers.

Early care and education providers who are interested in learning more about current and upcoming funding opportunities and programs are encouraged to subscribe to DCF’s Child Care Listserv.

This press release is also available in PDF format.