Personal protective equipment will also be available soon for regulated child care providers

On September 3, 2020, Gov. Tony Evers announced an additional $30 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) dollars are being directed toward supporting early care and education providers. The additional funds will allow the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to conduct an additional round of Child Care Counts payments.

The Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Supplementary Payment Program of funding will be distributed through two, new programs targeted at the current challenges early care and education providers are facing. Applications and program eligibility details will be available starting Sept. 9, 2020, on DCF’s website, with the application window closing Sept. 18, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Payment notifications will be issued on Sept. 26, 2020.

The individual payment programs are detailed below.

Providing safe, healthy, and high-quality child care opportunities
This program is intended to support the costs of maintaining or enhancing compliance status, quality level (YoungStar rating), and increasing health and safety practices. Funds will help ensure high-quality care is available across state, specifically at younger ages where reasonable alternatives to child care do not exist.

Funding staff recruitment and retention efforts
As providers move back to regular operations, many have struggled to bring back staff due to depressed wages. This program is designed to support the costs associated with recruiting and retaining high-quality staff.

In addition to the individual payments for eligible early care and education providers, the State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC) has made personal protective equipment (PPE) available for providers statewide. DCF is finalizing a survey that will be distributed to all regulated providers with information about how PPE can be accessed and distributed within the week.