June 28, 2023
Contact: Gina Paige or Jamie Keehn, 608-422-7800 or dcfmedia@wisconsin.gov


DCF Announces Dream Up! Cohort 3 Grant Recipients 

$2.5 million awarded to nine communities to strengthen local child care systems 


MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) today announced the award of another $2.5 million in Dream Up! Grants to nine cross-sector community teams across Wisconsin. These teams will aim to help solve the challenges facing Wisconsin’s child care system and bolster the economy in their communities. 

“The Dream Up! program provides a unique opportunity for communities to rally together to find innovative solutions that support child care providers, families, and the local economy” said DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson. “We are eager to learn alongside these communities and continue our work in building an early care and education system that meets the need of Wisconsin’s families.” 

During the four-week application period the Dream Up! grant program received a large amount of interest with another 29 applications. While funding was limited, DCF was able to award grants to communities and businesses in each region of the state, with an emphasis on areas deemed child care deserts.

The Dream Up! Child Care Supply-Building grant program, administered by our partner, First Children’s Finance, focuses on building child care supply through a collaborative community approach. Nine cross-sector teams will receive strategic planning support and $75,000 in grant funding to evaluate, plan, sustain, and expand existing child care, and support new child care programs. Additional $5,000 stipends will be allocated to participating child care providers who submit business improvement plans during the strategic planning process. 

The team leads and their geographic focus areas include:

  • City of Mauston (Juneau County)
  • Village of La Farge
  • Langlade County Economic Development (Langlade County)
  • Child Care Resource and Referral (Calumet County)
  • United Way of Portage County
  • The Hmong Institute (Dane County)
  • United Way of Sheboygan County
  • Wood County Health Department
  • Latino Entrepreneurial Network (Latino Community in these Zip Codes - 53207, 53210, 53219, 53221, 53081, 53126, 53142)

This press release is also available in a PDF format.