Child Care Center Owners Urge State Legislators to Work With Governor and State Departments
March 26, 2020
As proud Wisconsinites, we have been deeply concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, our country and our community. The coronavirus has affected every aspect of our daily lives and has consumed most of our attention and energy. Here in Wisconsin, community spread is happening and confirmed cases are rising.
As child care center owners and as Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) advocates, we have been specifically troubled by the virus’ impact on child care providers, whose services are so vital not only to our children, but also to our community and workforce. Here in Wisconsin, emergency service providers are on the front lines, fighting for our community. Unlike many others, these workers cannot work from home, making child care a necessity.
Unfortunately, child care providers already operate on very tight budgets. If the federal and state government doesn’t step in to ensure that group child care centers can still afford to pay their staff and, family child care pay their basic bills and, in some cases, remain operational with tuition from fewer children, only 11% of recently surveyed child care programs said they were confident they could re-open whenever the COVID-19 crisis ends.
This is unacceptable. We must take care of our emergency responders and their families, just as they care for us. We must also make sure that when this crisis subsides, all parents are able to re-enter the workforce with the child care supports that they relied on before the crisis.
I urge Representative Pocan, Senator Baldwin and Senator Johnson to support robust child care assistance in any further stimulus packages that Congress considers. This funding would provide Wisconsin with robust and flexible funding to serve our community and keep our workforce functioning. I urge state level legislators to work with Governor Evers and the State Departments to fully fund all recommendations to ensure that the Family and Group Child Care Centers can safely remain open to essential workers and then reopen without significant tuition increases to recoup our losses and to serve our communities as we recover.
Our community must work together in this time of crisis. Child care programs are a critical part of our community, both now and when the COVID-19 crisis ends.
Corrine Hendrickson, Corrine’s Little Explorers, and Brooke Skidmore, The Growing Tree
New Glarus, WI