Providing Updates and Resources for Wisconsin Child Care Providers, Children and Families


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Below is a list of resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic specific to Wisconsin’s early care and education workforce.   This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

WECA remains committed to supporting young Wisconsin children and the professionals who care for and educate them.

Last Updated: Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Financial Resources

Breaking through the red tape of federal relief packages by yourself can be daunting. We are sifting through as much of the legal language as possible and highlighting relevant information below. The one thing that has been constant in doing this work is change. Knowing this, we commit to updating this information as it evolves. Please check back with questions that you have. Most importantly, we highly suggest you reach out to your bank,the  Small Business Development Center, or the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation to help get your documents prepared for anything you wish to apply for. It is critical that you supply everything required the first time, otherwise your application could be denied or put to the back of the line. Since funds are available on a first come, first serve basis, it is critical to make sure you have checked every box. 

Each section below breaks down different funding currently available and is defined in much greater detail when you click on the hyperlink. 

We’re All in Small Business Grant | WEDC
Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the We’re All In Small Business Grant Program will provide $2,500 to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.

FedEx #SupportSmall Grants
Each grant recipient will receive $5,000, plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office that can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more.

Please come back May 25 to apply.*

Otto Bremer Trust Community Benefit Financial Company Emergency Fund: Small grants provided to qualified nonprofits, and other community organizations impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness: Mini-grants for women to meet their family’s immediate needs.

Dane County Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program: Grant amounts range from $1,000 – $50,000; deadline to apply is June 15th.


  • Is the business located in Dane County?
  • Is this a legitimate business?
  • Is the applicant a business of color or woman-owned?
  • Is the business vital to the community?
  • Could their need be filled from some other source? (EIDL, PPP, Unemployment Comp, etc).
  • Was the business healthy and stable prior to pandemic?

Grant Program for Ethnically Diverse Micro-Businesses: Grants up to $2,000.


  • Are for-profit, Wisconsin-based and at least 51% minority-owned;
  • Started operating prior to Jan. 1, and were operating as of Feb. 29 this year;
  • Have no more than five (5) full-time equivalent employees, including the owner. Sole proprietorships are also eligible;
  • Operate in the retail, service or hospitality industries; and
  • Have not received any federal assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, or state aid through the Small Business 20/20 program.

Dane County Child Care Grants: The grants will range based on the size of the provider from a $1,400 minimum to a $15,000 maximum.


COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Capacity Building Grant Fund

Forward Community Investments (FCI) has committed an initial $50,000 in partnership with Associated Bank to support small nonprofits that have changed their operational model or services due to COVID‐19. This need‐based, micro‐grant program will provide immediate financial support ($2,500 per grant) for capacity building expenses such as:

  • Health and safety supplies for organizations facing newly fluctuating demand.
  • Computer purchases enabling remote work by nonprofit employees.
  • Software and other technology investments supporting distance learning or other remote service delivery model.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a 501c3 organization or a project sponsored by another 501c3, located in Wisconsin serving rural communities, serving people of color, low to moderate-income individuals, or other marginalized groups.
  • Have less than 10 FTE’s and an annual budget of less than $500,000.
  • Work towards reducing racial and economic disparities.
  • Have an unexpected expense related to COVID-19.
  • For more info:

Economic Recovery Rebates
Authorizes recovery rebates of $1,200 for all Americans with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 ($112,500 for head of household) and $2,400 for married couples with adjusted gross income up to $150,000 who file a joint return. Amounts increase by $500 for every child. Clink link above for greater detail. 

Payment Protection Program
This is a payroll-focused program that offers low-interest loans to for profit, nonprofit, self employed, and contract workers to pay staff and cover operating costs. These loans may be eligible for debt forgiveness. Click above for all the details. 

Child Care and Development Block Grant|
Federal Funds Information for States (FFIS) estimates that Wisconsin will receive approximately $51.3 million of the additional funding provided under the Act. While we do not know at this time how Wisconsin will spend these funds, the link above provides the federal parameters.

Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) 
This is broader than PPP in the expenses it will cover (such as the full mortgage payment, not just the interest) If you meet the qualification criteria to apply for an EIDL loan, you will receive a $10,000 advance within three business days—that does not need to be repaid.

Unemployment Insurance
Temporarily increase to Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit amounts and extended duration of those amounts.  And more people, such as self-employed workers, will be eligible for unemployment assistance.

The Employee Retention Credit
The Employee Retention Credit is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees.

Additional Information and Financial Counseling
If you need additional help navigating which relief packages might be best for you, there are a number of national and local organizations available to help you for free. Click the link above to find the help that meets your needs best.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers (over 50 employees) to provide their employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of expanded family and medical leaveat the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of expanded family and medical leaveat two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor.
  • A covered employer must provide to employees that it has employed for at least 30 days: Up to an additional 10 weeks of expanded family and medical leaveat two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Tax Credits: Covered employers qualify for dollar-for-dollar reimbursement through tax credits for all qualifying wages paid under the FFCRA. Qualifying wages are those paid to an employee who takes leave under the Act for a qualifying reason, up to the appropriate per diem and aggregate payment caps. Applicable tax credits also extend to amounts paid or incurred to maintain health insurance coverage. For more information, please see the Department of the Treasury’s website.

Covid-19 Financial Relief Resources for Early Care and Education Workers

Considerations for Child Care Providers & Workers Navigating Financial Support Options During the COVID-19  Crisis

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

U.S. Chamber Foundation: Save Small Business Fund  Grant applications open Monday, April 20th

NAEYC: Economic Injury Disaster Loan: What Child Care Programs Need to Know  Step-by-step guide with screen shots of the application.

NAEYC: Paycheck Protection Program: What Child Care Programs Need to Know Step-by-step guide with screen shots of the application.

DCF Guidance Order #3 Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy information for local agencies related to COVID-19

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Support The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) March 26, 2020

WEDC announces targeted grants to small businesses suffering losses due to coronavirus emergency

Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information from Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development

Webinar Recording: What Early Childhood Programs Need to Know About the Financial Side of the Coronavirus with Tom Copeland

Managing Your Personal Finances in Tough Times UW Division of Extension

COVID-19 Information and Resources from 211 Wisconsin

Coronavirus Grant Request from No Kid Hungry

  1. No Kid Hungry is offering real time funding and assistance for early child care providers that are making sure kids have access to the meals they need as schools close due to COVID-19.
  2. No Kid Hungry is providing emergency grants to support these local efforts like home delivered meals, grab and go meals, school and community pantries, backpack programs, and others to help reach children and families who lose access to meals. We’re providing $1 million in emergency grants on a rolling basis. This is the first phase of an ongoing multi-million dollar response.  

Kiva is a crowd-lending platform that provides 0% loans to small businesses through a platform of online lenders (local and global). Effective immediately, U.S. applicants for a Kiva loan will have access to the following expanded lending options in response to the pandemic: n Expanded eligibility: More businesses will be eligible for a Kiva loan. n Larger loans: The maximum loan on the Kiva platform will increase from $10,000 to $15,000. n Grace period: Applicants may receive a grace period of up to six months for greater financial flexibility. Women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses may also have access to a 50% match, up to $5,000, from WEDC. To apply for a loan or sign up to be a lender yourself, visit

WEDC Small Business 20/20 Program provides funds to Wisconsin-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to make grants to existing loan clients to mitigate short-term cash flow issues and protect jobs and public health in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Approved CDFIs and collaboratives will make program grants available to for-profit businesses that are current loan recipients in good standing as of 3/1/20 with the approved CDFI and/or its collaborating CDFIs. These businesses must have 20 or fewer full-time or part-time employees and greater than $0 but less than $2 million in annual revenues. Preference will be given to service and retail businesses.

Providing and Finding Child Care for Essential Workers


Access to child care for the essential workforce was deemed an essential objective by the state’s emergency management planning team. DCF is the agency lead on the task force to respond to this objective. Our success is dependent on your ability to serve the families of essential workers – and we are committed to supporting and helping you.

To date, DCF has surveyed health care provider parents, child care providers, and educators. From the results of those surveys, DCF has partnered with Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&R) and Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA) to help connect the healthcare providers who have needs with the services of child care providers (regulated and in-home options). On March 24, DCF has launched updates to these existing applications as well as the development of a new system to more quickly connect the essential workforce with care.

  1. If you are a health care worker in need of child care, please fill out this survey.  All relevant information can be found here:
  2. If you are a child care provider who is willing to serve our critical workers, please update your program status in Provider Portal.
  3. If you are a child care teacher willing to help serve this population. Create an iChildCare Account All relevant information
  4. If you are a K-12 educator willing to help serve this population,Create an iChildCare Account All relevant information
  5. For further questions, please email

Child Care Operations During COVID-19

UW Law School Summer Project Collaboration

Announcing a special opportunity to connect with University of Wisconsin-Madison law students seeking to complete their pro bono hours to philantropic, community, and nonprofit organizations. Students are available to provide volunteer, part-time pro bono help over the summer. The work will capitalize on law students’ legal research and writing skills and focus on regulatory, policy, and programming projects specific to the organization. The amount and nature of work can be flexible depending on your organization’s needs. Examples include development of policies and procedures, navigating state and federal regulations related to relief funds, assistance with employment practices, etc.  

Reopening During COVID-19 Guidance

Family Day Care Home Sponsors: COVID-19 Questions and Answers from Wisconsin Community Nutrition

Considerations for Child Care Providers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak (PDF download)

Preparing Child Care Programs for a Viral Outbreak (PDF download)

Considerations for a Child Care Program Infectious Disease Response Plan (Word Doc download)

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin: Emergency Internet Resources for Wisconsin Residents During Public Health Emergency

DCF Order 16: Frequently asked questions for child care providers regarding “Safer at Home”

Summary Notes from March 26th Conference Call with Gov. Evers and DCF.

Audio File from March 26th Conference Call with Gov. Evers and DCF

New: Release and Waiver of Liability

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that older adults and those who have or have members in their household with compromised immune systems, respiratory problems, hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, chronic kidney disease, or cancer are at greater risk for more serious complications associated with COVID-19. Providers can use this waiver provided.

Order 11: Considerations for launching an emergency child care location

Emergency Child Care Plan created by WECA and Abbi  Kruse, Executive Director at The Playing Field 

Emergency Child Care Plan – A dynamic and robust implementation plan that includes guidance for programs that elect to continue operating, to understand how to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 within their facilities and among their staff, how to react quickly should a case be identified, and to help administrators plan for the continuity of caring for children. The plan also includes recommendations for emergency child care best practices, how to enroll children in this care, as well as the necessary supports for child care programs providing this service to families of critical workers.

From Minnesota Association of Child Care Professionals  Support Family Child Care During Pandemic | Support FCC During Pandemic – Spanish

FREE Access to Wisconsin Shared Education Resources (WISER) platform.

Sample Letters and Documents:



Online Professional Development and Trainings

Upcoming LIVE Trainings

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 – 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (CDT)
Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviors in Young Children
This webinar focuses on understanding difficult behaviors in young children. It discusses behavior management strategies and ways to reduce challenging behaviors in the future.
Please register at:

Thursday, May 21, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (CDT)
Speech and Language Development in Young Children
This webinar discusses how to recognize typical and atypical speech development and the important role routines play in fostering language skills.
Please register at:

Free Virtual Dialogues for Educators
These will be an opportunity to come together with other early childhood educators to acknowledge the challenges we are all facing, share ideas, and build new thinking together for ways we can adapt and respond to the educational landscape in the midst of social distancing. Pedagogical leaders and Teacher Educators from Boulder Journey School and the Boulder Journey School Teacher Education Program will act as facilitators. Upcoming dialogues and previously recorded sessions

Trainings provided by WECA:

Questions regarding the above trainings, email

Other local, State, and National Trainings available:

The Registry provides continuing education hours for online training as well as in-person training and anyone with a free Registry account can track their training.  When attending an online training or webinar, remember to obtain a certificate of completion. The certificate must include the training topic, date of completion, and the number of hours completed. You will have to save a copy and submit it to the Registry at your next membership application or renewal.  You will receive general continuing education hours when your application is processed.”  If a certificate is not provided, Child Care Licensing allows up to 5 hours of continuing education for documented independent reading and watching of educational materials. Please use THIS FORM to submit trainings that did not have a certificate.



Higher Education COVD-19 Resources

Mental Health Resources

Coalition to Support Grieving Students: Providing Grief Support Over Time

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction A Focus on Mental Health and Wellness During School Closures

Child Trends: Ways to Promote Children’s Resilience to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Healthy Minds Program app: FREE!

Healthy Minds Program on the Apple App Store

Healthy Minds Program on Google Play

The Healthy Minds Program is a free mindfulness app that teaches qualities beyond traditional mindfulness training. Our unique program strengthens the four qualities of a healthy mind – awareness, connection, insight, and purpose.


Dr. Richard Davidson: Social Connections when we are “Physically Distancing”

Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health: You Are Not Alone

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Mental Health Resources Available to Help with the COVID-19 Pandemic Tools to use to take care of our minds and stay grounded

Yoga with Adriene YouTube Channel


Untangle, is the podcast from the 5-star app, Meditation Studio and Muse, the Brain Sensing Headband. Experts and ‘real people’ share stories about how mindfulness practices have changed their lives. Hear experiences from business leaders, psychologists, neuroscientists, nutritionists, authors, mindfulness teachers, storytellers and more. We cover everything from why it’s important to meditate to how self-compassion practices change us from the inside out to why meditation helps with anxiety in adults and kids.

The Minimalists Podcast

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus discuss living a meaningful life with less. Recent episodes cover COVID-19.

The Dark Place

A shame-free space where people talk about their struggles, difficult past memories, and what it’s like to live with mental illness. Common topics include depression, anxiety, abuse, and trauma. No matter the story, it will be met with compassion.

Therapy for Black Girls

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly chat about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves.

Made Visible

Made Visible is a podcast that gives a voice to people with invisible illnesses. This podcast aims to change the conversation around invisible illnesses, helping those who experience them —whether as patients, caregivers, or friends or family members — feel more seen and heard. COVID-19 episodes available.

The One You Feed

“This podcast saved my life”- Amy W Practical Wisdom for a Better LifeOpen minded discussions of habits, meditation, wisdom, depression, anxiety, happiness, psychology, philosophy, and motivation.

COVID-19 Resources for Kids

Children can be highly sensitive to change. They thrive on routine and in this uncertain time, it’s likely the routine you regularly follow has been altered. Additionally, children can sense when you are stressed and start to worry as well. Finally, children pick up things that they hear on the news, even if they can’t make sense of it all. Here are some resources to support your child while they are home with you. 


Inter-Agency Standing Committee: My Hero is You, Storybook for Children on COVID-19.

Audible: kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. Free while schools are closed 

Time Magazine for kids: free access to a library of four grade-specific digital editions of TIME for Kids 

Khan Academy Kids: Inspire a lifetime of learning and discovery with our free, fun educational program for children ages two to seven. Free while schools are closed 

PBS Learning Media 

NASA STEM for Kids 

Smithsonian Kids 

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus 

Free Educational Apps, Games, and Websites 

Free Online Events and Activities for Kids at Home 

GoNoodle Guided videos integrate movement and mindfulness into the day and are fun and interactive. From yoga flows to silly songs and dances, kids are sure to love this creative resource you can use in the classroom and at home. 

Doodling with Mo Willems: Mo Willems invites you into his studio every day for his lunch doodle at 1 p.m. ET. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. 

Shubert and Sophie Stay HomeLike other children around the world, Shubert and Sophie are currently staying home. They’re helping keep their community safe by sheltering in place with their family. Although it feels like a vacation at first, Shubert and Sophie (and mom and dad) gradually begin to feel grumpy. They miss friends, field trips and soccer games. In this free printable story, Sophie and Shubert learn to navigate their big feelings about COVID-19 with help from their parents. The story highlights useful strategies like deep breathing and practicing gratitude. As in other Shubert and Sophie stories, the siblings model Conscious Discipline for children, while their parents model Conscious Discipline for adults. Read this story with your children to share a moment of connection and enjoy another visit to Bug Valley, all while learning helpful skills along the way. 

COVID-19 Resources for Parents

Likely, most parents are experiencing some shock in their own change of routine as well. Whether you are still working at your place of employment, working remotely or are unable to work, things are probably not how they used to be. Additionally, with schools and many child care programs closed, your children are relying on you a lot. These resources will help you navigate this new situation with your children. Additionally, we’ve included some self care resources for you. Children pick up the stress of their parents and likely, this only makes your situation worse. Make a habit of doing some activities each day to lower your stress. 

National Conference of State Legislatures: Human Services: COVID-19 Resources

At-Home Early Math Learning Kit for Families: Ideas for Supporting Young Children’s Math Skills During Coronavirus and Beyond

Rooted (formerly Community GroundWorks): Farm to ECE Resources for At-Home Activities

Florida Inclusion Network: 

Community of Practice on ASD/DD

From Wisconsin 4-H Division of Extension: Fun Hands-on Learning To Do At Home

ChildCare Aware of America: At-Home Brain-Building Tips for Families with Children Ages Birth to Five

An Open Letter to Parents From a National Teacher of the Year 

Supporting Kids During the Coronavirus Crisis 

Supporting Teenagers and Young Adults During the Coronavirus Crisis 

Ways to Promote Children’s Resilience to the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Supporting Children’s Mental Health: Signs to watch for  

Tips for Families: Coronavirus: The following resources offer tips for families including age-appropriate responses to common questions, a guide to self-care, and activities for young children experiencing social distancing. 

Caring for Preschoolers at Home 

A parent’s guide to surviving COVID-19: 8 strategies to keep children healthy and happy 

How to Keep Kids Learning When They’re Stuck at Home 

Wide Open School: Wide Open School is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense. There is so much good happening, and we are here to gather great stuff and organize it so teachers and families can easily find it and plan each day. 

250+ Creative Ways to Keep Your Family Sane During the COVID-19 Crisis 

26 Things to Do at Home with Kids During the COVID-19 Outbreak 

Lakeshore Learning: 1,000 Free Resources for the classroom and home.

Creating Routines ad Rituals 

Creating a Daily Schedule 

Promise Venture Studios provides some great self-care activities:  

FREE resources for families during COVID19 

Resilient Wisconsin is a new statewide initiative designed to provide Wisconsinites with the tools to build resiliency. Find healthy ways to cope and stay connected with others in your community.  

Early Learning Nation: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving COVID-19: 8 Strategies to Keep Children Healthy and Happy 

EmbraceRace: COVID-19 resources for kids and families 

Harvard Graduate School of Education: Helping Children Cope with Coronavirus and Uncertainty 

National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource 

World Health Organization: Healthy Parenting Tips from WHO in 70 different languages 

America’s Voice Education Fund: Resources for Immigrants During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

Raising Children: The Australian Parenting Website Coronovirus family guide 

Activities Guide: Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence

A Guide to COVID-19 and Early Childhood Development

COVID-19 Resources for Teachers

During this time when schools and many child care programs are closed, how can you stay connected to your students? If you are still caring for children, it’s likely under different circumstances. These resources will help you stay connected and remain supportive no matter what type of teacher you are right now. 

Tips for Supporting Infants & Young Children’s Transition as we Re-open from Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health

Caring for Children of first responders – A video by Abbi Kruse from The Playing Field hosted by Conscious Discipline 

Virtual Learning ToolsFrom using video to project-based learning, get recommendations on the best tools for virtual learning 

Mystery Science: To help educators during this time of coronavirus, Mystery Science has pulled its most popular science lessons and is offering them for anyone to use for free. No account or login is needed. 

Wide Open School:  Wide Open School is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense. There is so much good happening, and we are here to gather great stuff and organize it so teachers and families can easily find it and plan each day. 

Shubert and Sophie Stay HomeLike other children around the world, Shubert and Sophie are currently staying home. They’re helping keep their community safe by sheltering in place with their family. Although it feels like a vacation at first, Shubert and Sophie (and mom and dad) gradually begin to feel grumpy. They miss friends, field trips and soccer games. In this free printable story, Sophie and Shubert learn to navigate their big feelings about COVID-19 with help from their parents. The story highlights useful strategies like deep breathing and practicing gratitude. As in other Shubert and Sophie stories, the siblings model Conscious Discipline for children, while their parents model Conscious Discipline for adults. Read this story with your children to share a moment of connection and enjoy another visit to Bug Valley, all while learning helpful skills along the way. 

Lakeshore Learning: 1,000 Free Resources for the classroom and home.

A Guide to COVID-19 and Early Childhood Development

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