This summary provides an overview of an official press release, focusing on key advocacy initiatives relevant to First 5 Fox Valley. For a comprehensive review of the official document, please click on the link provided here.

Governor Tony Evers has announced a significant investment plan in his 2021-2023 biennial budget to support children, families, and caregivers in Wisconsin. This plan includes over $140 million allocated to address childcare quality, affordability, and accessibility, as well as more than $600 million for long-term care infrastructure. Here are the key highlights:

Childcare and Early Education:

  • A nearly $106 million investment over the biennium aimed at improving childcare quality, affordability, access, and equity.
  • Grants for regulated childcare providers, with a focus on infant and toddler care, staff salaries, and benefits.
  • Pilot programs in childcare deserts to enhance accessibility.
  • Funding for early childhood social emotional training and technical assistance.
  • Expansion of a successful childcare grant program to support families in specific zip codes.
  • Increase in funding for the REWARD program for childcare workers.
  • Use of FMLA leave when childcare providers are closed.
  • Introduction of a nonrefundable credit to help with childcare costs, based on the federal child and dependent care credit.

Caregiving and Long-Term Care:

  • Implementation of recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving.
  • Investment of over $600 million in Wisconsin’s long-term care infrastructure, direct care workforce, and family caregivers.
  • Significant rate increases for nursing homes.
  • Development of a software platform to connect caregivers with those in need of services.
  • Establishment of equitable rates for home and community-based long-term care supports.
  • Support for the Office of Caregiver Quality.
  • Financial assistance for personal care services and Medicaid capitation rates in Family Care.
  • Creation of standards of practice for caregiver training.
  • Support for direct support professionals without affecting eligibility for childcare subsidies.
  • Introduction of a Caregiving Tax Credit of up to $500 for qualified caregiving expenses.
  • Funding for Aging and Disability Resource Centers, dementia care specialists, tribal resources programs, and caregiver support services.
  • Expansion of the Alzheimer’s Family Caregiving Support program.
  • Pilot program for Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral (TCARE).
  • Expanded use of Wisconsin FMLA leave for caregiving responsibilities.
  • Support for a Family and Guardian Training Program and additional Ombudsmen positions.
  • Ensuring eligible children receive services under the Children’s Long-Term Support waiver program.
  • Establishing requirements and standards for hospitals concerning caregiver discharge protocols.