Today, June 15, 2023, members of the Joint Finance Committee will decide whether or not Child Care Counts remains in the Wisconsin state budget. Democratic members of the committee, surrounded by providers and business owners from across the state, spoke out about the need to continue this important program.
Recently, Wisconsin Policy Forum published a report about the program citing the National Association of Education of Young Children October 2022 survey stating, “27.1 percent of providers surveyed would have closed had they not received federal funding through the Child Care Counts programs. A majority (60.6 percent) reported they will have to increase tuition when the federally-funded stabilization grants expire, while one third (33.6 percent) reported they will need to cut wages or pull back pandemic-era wage increases when the programs run out.”
If the Child Care Counts program stops as scheduled in January 2024, child care businesses will have two choices: raise fees or close doors. Without additional funds, Wisconsin Youth Company will need to raise program fees by 22 percent to continue operations at its current level — a record increase in the organization’s nearly 50 years of operation. Many families will not be able to afford this drastic increase.
Call the members of JFC today to voice your support for Child Care Counts in the next budget.