How Will the Governor’s Budget Impact Early Care and Education?

WCCF has analyzed Governor Walker’s key budget proposals for early care, described in a two-page summary HERE 

Below are some highlights:

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.money 2 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.

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.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau is working on their detailed analysis of the Governor’s proposal, so we should have more information sometime in March.

Dave Edie
Early Education Policy Analyst