WECA Workforce Study Supports Future of Early Care

WECA is excited to announce the release of a new workforce study, Child Care Professionals in 2010: The view from Wisconsin. WECA teamed up with the Public Policy Forum in Milwaukee to help create an accurate picture of the strengths and challenges in the field today. A group of early education stakeholders were pooled together to determine the focus areas of the study: education, experience, job satisfaction, and compensation. In each category, a set of questions were developed to survey three distinct groups: child care directors, group child care employees, and family child care providers.

The study revealed positive trends in the workforce, including:

  • Sixty-two percent of the survey respondents intending to pursue credit-based professional training and 41 percent planning to pursue non-credit training.
  • A 14 to 24 percent drop in the Wisconsin early care workforce turnover rate.
  • Only four percent of survey respondents claiming they were unsatisfied with their current jobs, and 96 percent claiming either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied”.

The study recommends focusing on key areas to support the future of the early care workforce, including:

To read the study, Child Care Professionals in 2010: The view from Wisconsin, in its entirety, click here.

Additional Budget Hearings to be Hosted by Democratic Legislators

In addition to the official public budget hearings scheduled by (and attended by) the full Joint Finance Committee, Democratic members have announced that they will host the following budget hearings:

Saturday, April 9, Oshkosh: UW-Oshkosh, Reeve Memorial Union, Room 202. 748 Algoma Blvd (10:30-4:30pm)
Saturday, April 9, Eau Claire: Chippewa Valley Technical College, Business Education Center, Room E1018. 620 Clairemont Avenue (10-4pm)
Friday, April 15, Baraboo: UW-Baraboo Gymnasium, 1006 Connie Road. (1-7pm)
Monday, April 18, Wausau: Northcentral Technical College, Heath Sciences Building, Room 1004. 1000 W. Campus Drive (1-7pm)
Wednesday, April 20, Janesville: Blackhawk Technical College North Commons. 6004 S Cty Road G (1-6pm)
Monday, April 25. La Crosse: UW-La Crosse Cartwright Center, Room 339. 1725 State Street (1-7pm)

Democratic legislators will also host public budget hearings at the following locations:

Monday, April 11, Racine: Gateway Technical College, RACI Great Lakes 116. 1001 S. Main Street (5-10pm)
Saturday, April 16, Green Bay: Brown County Central Library, Lower Level Theatre. 515 Pine Street (10-4pm)
Saturday, April 16, Rhinelander: Nicolet Technical College Learning Resources Building Auditorium. 5364 College Drive (10- 1pm)
Monday, April 25, Appleton: Appleton Public Library, Meeting Room A/B/C. 225 N. Oneida Street (1-7pm)
Monday, May 9, Kenosha: Gateway Technical College Auditorium. 3520 30th Avenue (10-3pm).

What’s in the Governor’s 2011-13 Proposed State Budget?

Viewing Governor Walker’s state budget can be an overwhelming and confusing experience. It can be difficult to figure out where (and how much) money is being spent and what regulations are being changed. This is where the Department of Administration steps in. The DOA has posted a readable, understandable version of the budget that summarizes key information for each state department. This summary is now available online to view here.

So what exactly is in the budget for the Department of Children and Families? Here are some key findings:

YoungStar: $7,602,100 in fiscal year 2012 and $7,284,800 in fiscal year 2013 is proposed for continued funding of YoungStar, Wisconsin’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. Additional funding is proposed for the administration of YoungStar ($725,100 in year one, and $719,400 in year two).
YoungStar tiered reimbursements: The initial design for YoungStar, approved by the Joint Finance Committee in 2010, included proposed fiscal incentives to programs that met higher quality standards. The Governor’s budget includes a tiered reimbursement system, but it is proposed in a different way. Note the differences below:

• The Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program is proposed to be funded at $290 million in fiscal year 2012 and $288 million in fiscal year 2013. The 2012 proposed funding is a $112 million reduction from the current fiscal year (which was budgeted at $402 million), although the Legislative Fiscal Bureau now estimates that the actual cost of the program for this year will be closer to $296 million.
• Several cost containment measures are authorized to occur (if needed) to contain costs in the Wisconsin Shares program. These includes increasing copayments for parents, tightening eligibility, implementing a waiting list for recipients, and adjusting payment rates to child care providers.
• $3,975,000 is proposed annually for the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin scholarship program and the R.E.W.A.R.D.™ Wisconsin stipend program (a $500,000 annual increase in funding from the 2009-2011 budget)
Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies: $1,298,600 per year is budgeted for these agencies. This is neither an increase nor decrease from the previous budget.

To view the complete summary of the Department of Children and Families 2011-2013 budget click here. Keep checking our blog to find out what happens as the budget process moves forward, and how to voice your opinion on what has been proposed by the Governor.