The Department of Children and Families (DCF) awarded just over $32 million to 2,367 early care and education providers through the first period of the Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Program. The application window for the second period of funding opens today.
The first round of payments, totaling $32.21 million covers child care provider activity from March 12 to April 11. Eligible child care providers who applied during the first payment window will begin receiving their payments this week through direct deposit and paper checks.
The department estimated demand from eligible child care providers and set maximum amounts for the payment criteria according to those estimates.
The Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Program is broken into three smaller programs targeted at the most common circumstances early care and education providers are facing in the wake of the public health emergency. The individual payment programs and the amounts allocated to them during period one are detailed below.
Funding to Care for Essential Workforce Families – $24.43 million for period one
This program is designed to support the costs of providing care for essential workforce families. Funds are to be used for paying staff, reimbursing families, or other allowable expenses.
Incentive Pay – $5.38 million for period one
The Incentive Pay program provides additional wages for child care providers and individual educators. Funds are required to be used to increase base pay during the State of Emergency for current employees, providers, and individual educators.
Support for Temporarily Closed Child Care Programs – $2.41 million for period one
To assist providers who were forced to close, this program helps defray costs associated with retaining staff and reopening child care programs as Wisconsin’s workforce returns to work. Funds are required to be used for reopening within 30 days of receiving funding. The money received is required to be used for paying staff, reimbursing families, or other allowable expenses.