April 28, 2020
Contact: Thomas McCarthy or Gina Paige, 608-422-7800 or dcfmedia@wisconsin.gov

COVID-19 Child Care Grant Proposal Submitted for Approval

(MADISON) – The Department of Children and Families (DCF) submitted a formal request today to the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) to use $51 million to support Wisconsin’s early care and education community. The funding comes as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The grant proposal submitted by the department breaks the total $51 million allocation into three smaller funds, with each addressing a critical challenge identified by child care providers and legislative leaders. The proposed programs include a grant to support those providing care for essential workforce families, a grant to provide hazard pay for early care educators working during the public health emergency, and a grant to support programs which closed operations during the public health emergency. Each proposed grant has separate criteria to qualify, with total dollar amounts aligned to supporting the situational needs of child care providers.

“The early care and education community has stepped up in a big way for Wisconsin by providing child care for employees doing essential work during the public health emergency,” said DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson. “And even more importantly, families need access to affordable, high-quality child care as the state plans for a return to more normal operations. This proposal is a necessary first step.”

The department received authority to propose a grant program totaling $51 million for child care providers under Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response legislation (2019 Wisconsin Act 185). As a first step in that process, the proposed grant program must be submitted to JFC for review under Wisconsin §16.54 (2) (a) 2. When the proposed program is approved, the department can begin taking applications and distributing funds.

A copy of the department’s request is available online. To stay apprised of DCF activities, follow @WisDCF on Twitter and Facebook. This press release is also available via Adobe pdf file.

NOTE: The department recently launched an initiative to connect families with local child care, including an interactive map that displays open, available care and an application for essential workers in need of child care.