MADISON – Dropping a son or daughter off at a child care center never gets easier for parents, but thanks to the dedication, love and care from child care providers, parents are able to ease their minds as they head to work to support their families. From center directors and staff to family child care providers, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) joins agencies across the nation on May 6 in recognizing these outstanding individuals on National Provider Appreciation Day.

Nearly 4,600 licensed providers care for thousands of children in Wisconsin. Providers play a crucial role in children’s lives by providing not only basic care like feeding and diaper changes, but also helping them reach developmental milestones through age-appropriate, educational activities.

“The work that that child care providers do – day in and day out – is critical to our state and our future generations,” said DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson. “They are the backbone to our state’s economic recovery, the brain builders of our youngest citizens, and a lifeline for working parents. This day offers us an opportunity to share our gratitude and recognize the positive role they play in our children’s lives.”

To support child care providers and the early care education (ECE) industry in Wisconsin, Governor Evers and DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson have invested over $824 million in federal relief funds to stabilize and grow the ECE industry community. Much of this has been through DCF’s monthly Child Care Counts payment program. Since its inception in May of 2020, the program has paid over $337 million to over 3,700 child care providers across the state, with over $200 million still in the pipeline.

DCF encourages parents and caregivers to share their appreciation to their child care provider by sending a handwritten note or by sending them a virtual thank you card via DCF’s Celebrate Early Care and Education page.

Parents who are looking for child care are encouraged to visit DCF’s Child Care Finder and Resources for Parents page to learn more about what to look for when looking for quality child care.

Early care and education providers who are interested in learning more about current and upcoming funding opportunities and programs are encouraged to subscribe to DCF’s Child Care Listserv.

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