A new grant could help families pay for child care

The Partner Up! grant could help pay for the cost of child care
The Partner Up! grant could help pay for the cost of child care(WEAU)
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 5:51 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - It can be difficult for some families to find affordable child care while also working full-time.

That’s where the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Project Growth Grant Program comes into play.

Under the program, the Partner Up! grant will allow businesses to help pay for the cost of their employee’s child care fees.

“Partner UP! is really Wisconsin’s answer to what we’ve been hearing from employers and from families all over Wisconsin,” Wisconsin DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson said.

The Partner Up! grant program will provide almost $11 million in funding to support partnerships between businesses and child care providers.

“Partner Up! is really an opportunity to connect high-quality childcare in communities with businesses who are interested in getting a little innovative in helping their own employees access high-quality care,” Amundson said.

Under the program, businesses can pay at least 25 percent of their employee’s costs of child care and the rest could be covered by the grant money.

“The cost of child care is often out of reach for families and even when employers are interested in helping, they don’t quite know what to do in order to help their employees find that high-quality affordable childcare,” Amundson said.

Becca Elbert is the assistant director of Western Dairyland’s Child Care Partnership program.

“It’s a huge benefit to this program is to support families in having access to high quality, affordable, childcare because both of those things are very important to our local economy,” Elbert said.

Elbert says her program will help area businesses navigate Partner Up!.

“We will provide support in the application process, reaching out and helping businesses understand and connecting them and creating partnerships with regulated child care programs,” Elbert said.

Elbert says this pilot program could help open doors for bigger, better collaboration.

“What this means is parents may already have their children enrolled in the program and we can support those existing enrollments,” Elbert said, “We can also work with businesses and childcare programs to secure vacant spots as well. This is a huge opportunity for businesses, childcare providers, and families to all work together”

The application for Partner Up! is open from February 28th through April 4th. However, businesses that apply by March 14th will receive priority consideration.

Child Care Partnership will be hosting webinars to further explain Partner Up! next Tuesday and Thursday on their website.

To learn more about the Partner Up! program, click here.

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