Policy Agenda & Progress

Our Priorities

We believe in a Wisconsin where children and families have the social, emotional and economic supports they need to thrive. Together, we will advocate for a Wisconsin where the health, safety and optimal development of our children is an unwavering priority – the foundation of a promising future. 

Policy solutions are essential. Let’s work together to push them forward. 

WE ADVOCATE FOR

STRENGTHENING WISCONSIN’S CHILD CARE SYSTEM

Early care and education (ECE) is the foundation of healthy children, families, businesses, communities and a thriving Wisconsin economy. Challenges with the cost and availability of child care significantly impact how Wisconsin parents work, or whether they are able to work at all.

Despite child care’s critical nature, decades of limited public investment have created a failing child care market.

OUR ASKS

Child Care Stabilization

    • Investing dedicated state funds to ensure a stabilized child care industry that promotes Wisconsin’s economic growth
    • Sustaining the Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEESSN) to stabilize and improve the state’s child care sector
    • Increasing incentives for child care quality
    • Providing assistance to encourage more family child care providers to enter the regulated care system

Child Care Professionals

  • Maintaining the expansion of programs that foster the recruitment and retention of the child care workforce
    • T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin (higher education scholarships) and REWARD Wisconsin Stipend Program (salary stipends)
    • Professional development supports to improve the quality of child care

Families

  • Creating a refundable child care tax credit package
  • Expanding Wisconsin Shares access
    • Increase Wisconsin Shares child care reimbursement rates
    • Structure parent co-pays around family’s ability to pay
    • Expand program eligibility to serve more families

Businesses and Communities

  • Providing tax credits for businesses that offer employer-sponsored child care
  • Sustaining state-matching for employer child care cost sharing
WE ADVOCATE FOR

OPTIMAL HEALTH AND
WELL-BEING

Optimal physical, mental, social and emotional health of our youngest children and their families is critical in moving toward a future where all are able to thrive. Safe, stable and nurturing parent and caregiver relationships are key to the healthy development of infants and toddlers.

OUR ASKS

Mental Health

  • Increasing funding to support infant and early childhood mental health consultation through:
    • Expanding the clinical workforce to provide infant/early childhood mental health consultation
    • Creating a statewide directory of qualified infant/early childhood mental health consultants
    • Expanding funding for Wisconsin Pyramid Model training and coaching to provide foundational services that enhance the efficiency of mental health services

Families

  • Expanding Wisconsin’s Family Foundations evidence-based voluntary Home Visiting Program (FFHV) to ensure parents have the supports they need to promote their children’s health and development
  • Expanding access to doulas for women of color to support their pregnancy and postpartum period to reduce infant mortality
  • Increasing state funding for the Birth to 3 Program to support access to high-quality statewide early intervention for children with developmental delays or disabilities
  • Strengthening parent-child bonding and relationships for infants and toddlers by expanding the Reach Out and Read program where parents receive guidance and support and children receive books