Wisconsin Infant Toddler Policy Project 2021-2022 Budget Priorities
As Governor Evers and the Wisconsin State Legislature craft the 2021-23 budget, it is essential to invest in the child care sector so that parents can participate in the workforce. Wisconsin leads the nation in its percent of mothers of young children working outside the home. Prior to COVID-19, child care was in crisis in Wisconsin with over 50% of state residents living in child care deserts. In rural Wisconsin, this number jumps to 80% of residents. In order to have strong, vibrant communities and local economies throughout the state, our child care infrastructure must be a priority.
We support an investment of $106 million in new state revenue into child care over the biennium. This investment should support high quality, affordable care for young children with a significant focus on infants and toddlers. Additionally, this funding should support early childhood educators’ wages and benefits. We further support an annual increase for the REWARD program and early childhood social emotional training and technical assistance.