Affordable child care: Wisconsin DCF secretary highlights programs

Two Wisconsin grant programs aim to address the need for affordable and accessible child care.

Wisconsin's Department of Children and Families secretary on Wednesday, Feb. 1 was in Milwaukee, highlighting "Child Care Counts" and "Partner Up."

One program helps day cares with funding needed to get and retain quality staff. The other program works with businesses, helping employees pay for quality child care so they can keep working.

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"What we have seen through the pandemic is a real shift and a real understanding that if we don't have strong, high quality, affordable child care in every part of the state, our workforce problems are going to get worse – they are not going to get better," said DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson. 

Critics turn to the price tag for the two programs. Child Care Counts alone would cost $340 million in the new state budget.