The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families has analyzed key proposals in Governor Walker’s budget related to early care and education. His proposals include:
An Increase in the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Budget The proposed child care subsidy budget includes an increase from the 2016-17 base of $8.5 million in year one and $27.5 million in year two. Most of the increases are to cover new requirements from the revised federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) re-authorization intended to provide better stability for working families and better continuity of care for their children. The proposal includes a shift to 12-month eligibility, rather than 6 months, and extended subsidies when a family’s income exceeds the current threshold of 200% of poverty. However, it appears that there is no increase in child care subsidy payment rates, even after years of declining rates.
Home Visiting Gets a Boost The Governor’s proposal adds $3.9 million to the Family Foundations Comprehensive Home Visiting (FFHV) program, which will serve an additional 400-550 families. The increase is a significant boost to the current annual $8.65 million budget.
Quality Child Care: No Change The proposed budget for “Quality Care for Quality Kids” is basically unchanged, with a 1% increase. The proposal does not include policies that could have increased quality, such as grants to meet and sustain higher quality standards, increasing funding for T.E.A.C.H scholarships and REWARD stipends, or raising subsidy payment rates.
Read the full summary of the Governor’s proposed budget for early care and education here.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau is working on their detailed analysis of the Governor’s proposal, so more information will be available sometime in March.