Policy Priorities 

WECA is a leading voice for improving and transforming Wisconsin’s early care and education system and the state’s early childhood educators.

ECE is the foundation of healthy children, families, businesses, communities and a thriving Wisconsin economy. Challenges with the cost and availability of child care significantly impact how Wisconsin parents work, or whether they are able to work at all. Early childhood professionals are experienced and well-educated, yet remain significantly under-compensated.

Decades of limited public investment have created a failing child care market despite child care’s critical importance.

Therefore, WECA calls for:

Child Care Stabilization

  • Investing dedicated state funds to ensure a stabilized child care industry that promotes Wisconsin’s economic growth
  • Sustaining the Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEESSN) to stabilize and improve the state’s child care sector
  • Increasing incentives for child care quality
  • Providing assistance to encourage more family child care providers to enter the regulated care system

Child Care Professionals

  • Maintaining the expansion of programs that foster the recruitment and retention of the child care workforce
    • E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin (higher education scholarships) and REWARD Wisconsin Stipend Program (salary stipends)
    • Professional development supports to improve the quality of child care

Families

  • Creating a refundable child care tax credit package
  • Expanding Wisconsin Shares access
    • Increase Wisconsin Shares child care reimbursement rates
    • Structure parent co-pays around family’s ability to pay
    • Expand program eligibility to serve more families

Businesses and Communities

  • Providing tax credits for businesses that offer employer-sponsored child care
  • Sustaining state-matching for employer child care cost-sharing 
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