By Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers
As a child care administrator, I am very concerned about the future of quality early care and education in Wisconsin, due to a new program being implemented by the state.
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is creating an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program for child care. Ignoring pleas from child care providers, DCF has decided to put the YoungStar quality bonuses (used to reward four- and five-star centers like Ebenezer Child Care Centers) on the EBT cards and cap revenue available to the centers. This means less money for the very centers that are most committed to quality.
High-quality child care centers are already struggling to survive due to inadequate support from the state. The DCF’s actions on the EBT could drive some centers out of business and will force many others to abandon YoungStar and/or no longer accept Wisconsin Shares families. This would hurt the very people the department is supposed to help: children and families.
The YoungStar bonuses must be taken off the EBT cards and the revenue cap removed. Please join me in asking your local legislators to stand up for children and families and tell DCF to listen to the child care industry on this issue. A complete list of elected leaders can be found at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/legislators/assembly.