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Letter to the Editor: Childcare deserves assistance
Letter To The Editor

From Corrine Hendrickson, Corrine’s Little Explorers; and Brooke Skidmore, The Growing Tree

New Glarus

To the editor:

Here in Wisconsin community spread is happening and confirmed cases are rising.

As childcare center owners and as Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) advocates, we have been specifically troubled by the virus’ impact on childcare 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 childcare a necessity.

Unfortunately, childcare providers already operate on very tight budgets. If the federal and state government doesn’t step in to ensure that group childcare centers can still afford to pay their staff and, family childcare pay their basic bills and, in some cases, remain operational with tuition from fewer children, only 11% of recently surveyed childcare 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 childcare supports that they relied on before the crisis.

I urge Representative Pocan, Senator Baldwin and Senator Johnson to support robust childcare 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 childcare 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. Childcare programs are a critical part of our community, both now and when the COVID-19 crisis ends.