MADISON -- Yesterday, The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) submitted a formal request to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) to use $51 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to create grant programs which would support the state's early care providers.
The proposed programs would provide a grant to support early care providers that have continued operations for the families of essential workers during the pandemic, a grant to provide hazard pay for early care providers who have continued working during the public health crisis, and a grant to provide relief for early care providers that were forced to stop operations as result of the pandemic. DCF intends to devote two-thirds of overall funding to supporting early care providers who have remained open to assist families of essential workers.
Representative Nick Milroy (D-South Range) released the following statement in support of the proposed grant programs:
"Wisconsin's early care professionals are crucial to the success of our state, and this is true now more than ever as we face this unprecedented public health crisis. While these hardworking and dedicated individuals are putting their safety on the line to provide care for essential workforce families, they deserve to be supported as well. Early care providers will continue to be vital as we work to begin re-opening the state and rebuilding our economy, and this proposal is a necessary first step in getting them the financial support they need."
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DCF received the authority to propose a grant program totaling $51 million for early care providers from Wisconsin's coronavirus response legislation (2019 Act 185) which was recently passed by the legislature. Once JFC approves the proposed grant program, DCF can begin taking applications and distributing funds.