Dane County to establish $3.5 million child care grant program

Dane County plans to create a $3.5 million fund to support area child care providers, County Executive Joe Parisi announced Thursday.

The county board still needs to approve the funds. A resolution to do so is on the agenda for tonight's meeting.

The county announced a partnership with Community Coordinated Child Care, Inc to distribute the funds at a press conference Thursday. The program comes as an answer to the effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic response.

"This funding will provide a much-needed boost to child care providers, which are so critical as conversations progress about slowly and safely opening our community back up," said County Executive Joe Parisi. "Any sustainable re-opening strategy will need child care as parents and guardians go back to work."

The grants will range based on the size of the provider from a $1,400 minimum to a $15,000 maximum.

The county listed child care providers eligible for the money as certified family, licensed family, licensed group, summer camp, and licensed school age.

Dane County officials estimated about 500 child care providers would benefit from the grant program.

Officials instructed child care providers with questions to email providercarepayments@4-c.org.

The county said over three-quarters of area family child care programs remain open despite the pandemic. Only about a third of group child care centers have kept their doors open.

Jody Bartnick, executive director of 4-C, said she hoped the grants would help programs reopen.

"Access to quality early childhood is essential for our communities’ workforce," Bartnick said. "It’s so important that we work together and help those most in need."

To read more go to WKOW: https://wkow.com/2020/05/07/dane-county-to-establish-3-5-million-child-care-grant-program/

Photo: WKOW

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