|Tuesday, May 1, 2001 |
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Lieutenant Governor Designee Farrow Joins DWD SecretaryGoal is to attract and retain quality child care providers
in Recognizing Local Child Care Collaboration
SHEBOYGAN Ė Lieutenant Governor Designee Margaret Farrow joined Department of Workforce Development Secretary Jennifer Reinert today at the Sunshine Ní Smiles Child Care Center in Sheboygan, to recognize a collaboration project that will improve the quality and availability of child care in Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties.
"Itís not often enough that we are able to recognize so many government agencies who, instead of looking for their own individual successes, partner together for the greater good. This is a partnership that will have lasting effects for many years to come," said Lt. Governor Designee Farrow. The collaboration was made possible when the Department of Workforce Development came up with an innovative way to send federal child care dollars directly to local government entities to match with local dollars. The grant for the Sheboygan-Manitowoc collaboration totaled $394,000 and involved Lakeshore Technical College, Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties, and the school districts of Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeula, Plymouth and Cedar Grove-Belgium pooling their grants to create an affordable health care and retirement plan for child care providers in the area. The retention of child care providers is often difficult as they donít have access to an affordable health care plan.
"This collaboration is extremely important as we continue to experience a labor shortage in Wisconsin and one of the areas it has become increasingly difficult to hire and retain workers is in the child care field. Providing funding for health care premiums and retirement benefits for child care providers is an effective tool to attract quality employees and keep them," said Secretary Reinert.
More than 400 child care providers in the Sheboygan and Manitowoc county area will benefit from the collaboration. More than $11 million in child care pass through grants were awarded in October to 83 local organizations, which include county and city government, school districts, technical colleges and tribes. The grants were developed to encourage collaboration between organizations on the local level. Programs that will be funded by the grants include health care services in child care settings, curriculum development for child care providers, assistance in creating child care services for children with disabilities, and making child care available at a local job center.
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