Douglas County Receives $75,000 Child Care Grant – Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR — Douglas County has received a $75,000 project growth grant, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families announced Tuesday, May 31.

The state agency that oversees child care announced that it has awarded more than $20 million in growth project grants to 28 cross-industry community teams and more than 100 businesses to help solve the challenges facing is facing Wisconsin’s child care system and supporting the state’s economy.

“We have seen in various communities across the state that when business, economic development, early learning and other community partners come together and innovate, we all benefit,” said Emilie Amundson, DCF secretary. “These grants help us start and build these partnerships, as well as find innovative and sustainable child care solutions that can be modeled in communities and businesses across the state.”

Jenny Van Sickle, Senior Councilor for the 2nd District

Contributed / Jenny Van Sickle

During the five-week application period, the Project Growth grant program received over 660 partners. applications and 39 Dream Up! apps. While funding was limited, DCF was able to provide grants to communities and businesses in every region of the state, with a focus on areas considered childcare deserts.

Senior Councilwoman Jenny Van Sickle applied for the grant on behalf of Douglas County. During her research to help the city develop child care subsidies, Van Sickle said she learned that Douglas County as a whole was being disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“Solon Springs, Lake Nebagamon – I couldn’t leave them out,” Van Sickle said.

The Dream Up! According to a press release, the Strengthening Childcare Supply Grant Program, administered by First Children’s Finance, aims to strengthen the supply of childcare through a collaborative community approach. .

The 28 teams, including the one in Douglas County, will receive strategic planning support and a $75,000 grant to assess, plan, maintain and expand existing child care services and to support new child care programs .

Van Sickle said she assembled a volunteer task force of economic development, community and other leaders to develop a strategic plan to address Douglas County’s child care challenges. .

“Basically, child care providers, in partnership with the task force we created, will decide how best to use our grant money based on our unique set of challenges and solutions. said Van Sickle. “Grant money is really customizable depending on what a particular area decides.”

The Douglas County task force, along with child care providers, will work with a facilitator to develop a long-term strategy.

“For each custodial provider that participates in the long-term strategy process, this will make those providers eligible for an additional $5,000 each to implement those strategies and plans,” Van Sickle said.

Additional allocations of $5,000 will be awarded to participating child care providers who submit business improvement plans during the strategic planning process, according to DCF.

Another round of Dream Up! the grants will be available in early 2023, according to the press release. Interested communities are encouraged to sign up for the DCF Grant Updates mailing list by visiting the Project Growth website.

Additionally, DCF announced the Partner Up! The grant program, administered by the Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA), aims to support partnerships between businesses and child care providers by providing funding to businesses that purchase slots for employees’ children from child care providers. existing regulated child care services. More than 100 businesses statewide will receive funding based on actual cost of care, number of slots and age group.

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