Department of Children and Families, Department of Administration Visit After School Program
Visit highlights success, importance of grant funding through pandemic
Madison, Wisconsin (Thursday, November 3, 2022) — Secretary Emilie Amundson with Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, and Assistant Deputy Secretary Olivia Hwang with Wisconsin Department of Administration visited Wisconsin Youth Company After School program at Cushing Elementary, Delafield, on Thursday, November 3 to see firsthand the success of the Child Care Counts and Beyond the Classroom Grant funding. Sec. Amundson and Dep. Sec. Hwang met with staff, engaged with children, and received a tour of the space.
“Public funding allowed Wisconsin Youth Company to continue providing great programs for children and supporting families through the pandemic. It was such an honor to have those government officials who worked to make that happen, see their work firsthand. Children and families have directly benefited from that support and we hope that it continues,” says Rebecca Carlin, executive director.
Child Care Counts program was introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 to help childcare programs through economic hardships caused by the pandemic. Since the program’s introduction, it has allowed Wisconsin Youth Company to provide in-person childcare throughout the pandemic.
Essential to providing this care, are the dedicated professionals who do the work every day. Child Care Count funds allowed Wisconsin Youth Company to recruit and retain talented staff by offering sign-on and retention bonuses, and increase wages to be competitive. WYC has also been able to maintain staffing levels to near pre-pandemic levels.
The Beyond the Classroom Grant — also introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic — has supported families who couldn’t financially afford care for their school-age children. The $1 million grant allowed WYC to provide more scholarships to families.
Need continues to be high for both sponsored spots and tuition assistance in WYC programs. Additionally, the number of families applying for tuition assistance has increased. The organization has seen firsthand the impact these funds provide to families and its communities.