‘Partner Up!’ grant to help employees afford childcare
A state grant could help employees at private businesses afford childcare.
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - A state grant could help employees at private businesses afford childcare, as people struggle to find providers and prices continue to rise. It’s called the ‘Partner Up!’ grant program. The idea is to help any private businesses better support their employees by paying for a portion of their childcare costs.
For many parents, paying for quality childcare on top of everything else is a burden on their wallets. Now the state is offering the $10 million Partner Up! grant, a program meant to help employers maintain and draw in more workers.
“If there’s any way that an employment group can help an employee out, it’s definitely a plus and a perk,” Childcaring Business Advocate Sarah Agena said.
Businesses that apply and qualify for the grant will pay for a certain percentage of an employee’s childcare. Then the state would pay for the remainder of the cost.
“It’s money being well spent... but this is major because it’s going to pay 100 percent of an employee’s childcare costs, so that is such a great benefit to offer employers,” Agena said.
Agena said many people are still trying to catch up with rising prices after the pandemic. That’s the case for some employees at Trinity Learning Center and Preschool in Stevens Point.
“For our employees, giving them the perk of not having to pay for childcare would definitely put more money back in their family’s pockets,” Trinity Learning Center and Preschool Director Amy Kurkowski said.
The non-profit Trinity childcare center applied for the grant. If they get it, they would pay 25 percent of their employees’ childcare and the state of Wisconsin would pay the remaining 75 percent. Kurkowski said they struggle to pay their employees more while keeping their prices affordable. She hopes Partner Up! will change the lives of their employees.
“If they didn’t have to pay that, that’s a mortgage for some of them or a car payment for some of them or extra food in their kids stomachs, so I think it would be very helpful to them,” Kurkowski said.
Partner Up! is expected to help over 200 private businesses. The deadline to apply is April 4, follow the link to apply.
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