This blog post provides a condensed overview of a significant announcement made by Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF). To read the complete press release on the State of Wisconsin website, click here.
Governor Tony Evers and DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson unveiled Wisconsin’s achievement of a $30 million PDG B-5 Renewal grant, following a previous $10 million planning grant. This renewal grant reflects the collaborative efforts of DCF, the Department of Public Instruction, and other partners, incorporating input from early care and education stakeholders.
- Early Care and Education Emphasis: Governor Evers stressed the critical role of Wisconsin’s early care and education system in the state’s success, especially during the formative first five years of a child’s life. The ongoing pandemic has amplified the significance of this system, not only for child development but also for the state’s economy and society.
- Allocation and Initiatives: The PDG B-5 Renewal grant will be distributed annually in $10 million increments over three years. It will fund the establishment of an Equity Advisory Council (EAC) aimed at enhancing family and provider input, ensuring a more inclusive early care and education system. Additionally, the grant will support a Workforce Grant initiative, fostering local public-private strategies to raise compensation and create pathways for recruitment into the early childhood education (ECE) workforce.
- Equity and Workforce Challenges: Secretary Amundson emphasized the goal of providing all Wisconsinites with access to quality and affordable early care opportunities. The pandemic has highlighted how a lack of suitable child care options can force individuals, primarily women, out of the workforce, impacting the state’s equity and future prosperity. Workforce issues in ECE, including low pay, lack of benefits, and limited diversity, will be addressed through evidence-based practices and cross-sector professional development initiatives, with a focus on trauma and inclusion.
In conclusion, this federal grant represents a significant commitment by Wisconsin to bolster its early care and education system. The funding and initiatives outlined in the announcement aim to enhance equity, support the ECE workforce, and ensure that all children and families in the state have access to quality early care opportunities.