Policy Agenda & Progress

Local Child Care Innovations

Community and business leaders across Wisconsin are coming together to make meaningful local improvements to child care access and affordability while continuing to advocate for systemic change at the state and federal level. These funding strategies have helped address some of the most immediate needs in Wisconsin’s child care infrastructure to keep programs open, assist parents in maintaining employment, and support the regional economy.


Business and community leaders come together in collaboration to support a start-up, allowing each entity to contribute time, money, expertise and other assets to support their shared goal. These resources may include start-up funding, space, technology, human resources and other assets. Multi-sector partners, including county officials, economic development organizations and business leaders, assist with planning, research and expertise to allow the start-up to launch and begin serving the community.



Businesses create space within or close to their campus and open a child care program for children of employees. This allows employers to gain an edge in attracting and retaining employees, hire more women in management roles, and maintain a strong work culture. In some employer-sponsored child care, the business supplies space, utilities, and back-office administration to support the programming.


Businesses contract directly with child care programs to purchase slots of care dedicated to serving their employees. Programs and businesses agree on the number of slots, rate of pay and use eligibility, ensuring that the slots will be available to the business for its employees.


Local school boards can vote to utilize Community Program and Services, also known as Fund 80, to help provide funding for child care. A school board must establish a Community Service Fund and adopt a budget for it – any tax necessary to operate the fund is considered an operation levy. School districts in Wisconsin help support the operation of more than 180 child care programs by blending Fund 80 dollars with Wisconsin Shares subsidies and private-pay tuition to offer child care in and for their communities.