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Agency Awards $1.7 Million Grant to Child Care Providers
Funds encourage furthering professional child care education and training
MADISON -- Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Jennifer Reinert will present a check for $1.7 million to child care providers in Wisconsin who have furthered their education in the child care field. The check will be presented at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 13th at the Pathways to Professional Development Conference at Madison Area Technical College, 3550 Anderson Street in Madison. The media is invited to attend.
The federally-funded grant, channeled through the department’s Rewarding Education with Wages and Respect for Dedication (R.E.W.A.R.D.) Wisconsin TM program, improves child care quality by reducing provider turnover, retaining qualified staff and encouraging the continued education of child care providers.
"The R.E.W.A.R.D. program benefits children, care givers and child care programs by providing annual stipends directly to child care professionals based on the education levels they have attained," said Secretary Reinert. "The stipends also provide incentives for child care professionals to further their education and help address the issue of low wages without impacting child care program budgets or increasing parent fees for services."
With these stipends, children benefit from consistent caregivers with a commitment to the child care field and programs. Providers receive monetary recognition for attained child care education and dedication, and the incentive to further their educational background. Child care programs benefit from the recipients experiencing increased professional status and job satisfaction resulting in the retention of knowledgeable staff and reducing the cost of employee turnover.
For last year’s pilot program, 947 child care providers in Wisconsin received $1.2 million in R.E.W.A.R.D.TM stipends. Last year’s application data indicated the average applicant served 14.5 years in the child care field and stipend recipients represented a total of 13,668 years of service in the early care and education field. This year more than 1,300 providers will receive R.E.W.A.R.D. TM stipends ranging from $875 to $1,750 each. The checks will be mailed to recipients at the end of July. The Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA) administers the program through DWD.
For more information, visit www.dwd.state.wi.us/dws/programs/childcare/teach/reward.htm.
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Content Contact: Teresa Weidemann-Smith