|Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development News Release|
|Wednesday, February 9, 2005
|News Media Contact
“Quality Care for Quality Kids” Offers Nation Model Program
Stevens Point – Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman used a child care center operated by the YMCA to help highlight the child care initiative Governor Jim Doyle proposed as part of his budget.
In the budget he presented to the Legislature Tuesday night, Governor Doyle included “Quality Care for Quality Kids,” a proposal that for the first time will rate the quality of all regulated child care providers and use the five-star rating system to determine payment of child care subsidies for low-income working families.
“This is a prime example of Governor Doyle’s efforts to provide Wisconsin citizens the best services possible and do so in the most efficient manner,” Secretary Gassman said. “Apart from ensuring taxpayers today that their money is well spent, this initiative will pay huge dividends in years to come. Numerous studies have shown that for every dollar spent on quality child care now, we can expect a return of $7 to $17 years later, as children succeed in school and become successful, contributing members of society.”
The state now pays nearly $300 million a year in Wisconsin Shares, child care subsidies for low-income working parents. As Governor Doyle noted in his state-of-the-state address last month, he believes it is misguided to reimburse the worst and the best child care providers at the same rate.
Secretary Gassman described “Quality Care for Quality Kids” as a user-friendly rating system that will guide parents in choosing the child provider that’s best for their children.
The five-star ratings will also be used by the state to reimburse child care centers for care subsidized by the Wisconsin Shares program.
Secretary Gassman said that by setting quality standards and restructuring existing Wisconsin Shares payments, Governor Doyle is not only putting kids first, but also seeing that state tax dollars are well spent. She said the rating system, coupled with strong child care regulations and a well-established subsidy program, will offer the nation a new model in quality child care and will substantially improve the lives of children for generations to come.
Content Contact: Rose Lynch