NEW GLARUS, Wis. — State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski made stops yesterday in New Glarus and Deforest to speak directly with childcare providers on the challenges they face and how it impacts affordable and accessible childcare for Wisconsin families. The vast majority of childcare providers in Wisconsin are independently owned and operated. Over half of Wisconsinites live in child care deserts; and in rural parts of the state, this jumps to nearly 80 percent. State Treasurer Godlewski believes too often childcare is an afterthought. In meeting with these small business owners, the State Treasurer aimed to find ways to support the childcare industry which is critical to the overall economic security of Wisconsin families.
“The cost of childcare is expensive in Wisconsin, and for too many families it is just flat-out unaffordable,” said State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. “Childcare providers are doing their best to provide access to safe and affordable care, but we need to do more to support this industry which is critical to Wisconsin’s economy.”
The latest information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states child care is affordable if it costs no more than 7 percent of a family’s income. By this standard, only 6.5% of Wisconsin families can afford infant care.
State Treasurer Godlewski met with Corrine Hendrickson, owner of Corrine’s Little Explorers in New Glarus, and Macy Buhler, owner of the Yahara Learning Center in Deforest. Both members of Main Street Alliance which helped coordinate these visits, Hendrickson and Buhler discussed the challenges they face as providers and the need for investment in childcare.
“Child care is the foundation of our communities, we provide care and education during the most critical years of a child’s life,” said childcare provider, Corrine Hendrickson. “We provide support to families as they navigate parenthood and all of its challenges, and we are a crucial lynchpin in the economy for today’s working parents and tomorrow’s workforce.”
Wisconsin is experiencing record rates of women leaving the workforce as access to safe, affordable childcare is dwindling. State Treasurer Godlewski looks forward to continuing to work on this important topic that will impact future generations.