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Kind celebrates child tax credit passage with daycare visit

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Kids gathered at one La Crosse daycare center received a visitor from Washington on Thursday.

The “big kid” in the room, helping them with card games and Lego blocks, was local Congressman Ron Kind, who stopped at Sprout Childcare to celebrate the start of monthly child tax credit payments to area families.

“Parents are not gonna be going to work if they aren’t convinced that their children are going to a safe, caring place during the day,” Kind told reporters.

He and State Rep. Jill Billings predict that more parents will be able to return to work, because getting the government checks will help them afford to send their children to daycare.

Billings joined Kind at the news conference, saying that Wisconsin has more working mothers than many states and could benefit greatly from the tax credits.

Sherry Picha, co-owner of Sprout, says her staff actively instructs children who come to the center.

“We used to be child care workers,” she said. “I get it, that’s what we’re referred to … but we are educators.”

Picha added that the care centers do not receive money themselves through the American Rescue Plan.

The tax credits provide monthly checks of $3,000 or $3,600 per child to eligible families, depending on the ages of their children.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.