Gov. Tony Evers visits child care facility in Chippewa Falls that benefited from COVID-era state program

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 8:36 PM CST
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - Governor Tony Evers made a stop in the Chippewa Valley to tour a child care facility Tuesday afternoon.

The Chippewa Falls YMCA’s Early Learning Community is a beneficiary of the governor’s COVID-era program, Child Care Counts.

Evers is aiming to put more money towards child care over the next couple of years to continue helping working class families.

“We’re seeing great results but I’m hearing across the state if we don’t get that additional money, it’s going to be a problem,” said Gov. Evers.

More than $340 Million is being earmarked for child care in Evers’ 2023-2025 biennial budget proposal.

YMCA of the Chippewa Valley CEO Derek White said that type of investment can allow for competitive compensation.

That is something he said can help entice the talent needed to help families in the long run.

“There’s a lot of turnover in a lot of industries right now. And, what we like to do is find ways to make sure that their services are not interrupted,” said White.

Childcare staffers said they could use all the help they can get when it comes to caring for multiple children.

“Even if there is only 6 kids, you have somebody that needs their shoes tied while you’re helping somebody get their snow pants on. There are times when our supplies go low but the budget is tight,” said Bridget Bandach.

“When we do childcare, when we look at childcare, this is the time that they are developing the fastest,” said Harrison Anderson.

They also said they appreciate the ongoing support from parents as they navigate the financial limitations.

“But they sometimes understand that at times we are over stressed and we try to make sure that we do the best job that we can,” said Anderson.

When it comes to the Badger State’s future, White and Gov. Evers both agree the multi-million dollar investments are well worth it for families.

“Chippewa Falls was at one point considered a childcare desert. Which is how out early learning center came into existence, and there continues to be a great demand for it,” said White.

“They have a great program here that we know could be larger if they have additional resources,” said Evers.

The Chippewa Falls YMCA received more than $600,000 for their child care program.

Gov. Evers’ proposal will still need to get approval from the Republican-led state legislature.

In that time they too will come up with their own biennial budget proposal.