A debate over child care needs in La Crosse County has taken up the county board’s time for the past several months, but a temporary compromise appears to have been reached.
The board voted last week to let UW-Extension study the issue and propose ways of offering more daycare to county families. The study could cost up to $50,000 in federal money already set aside for child care services.
The resolution, approved at Thursday’s monthly meeting, calls on the Extension to develop a plan in a “neutral, independent, and equitable way.”
Hiring the Extension for a study eliminates a previous plan to let the La Crosse School District develop a child care center that would have helped low income families and families within the school district.
That idea was questioned by existing daycare providers in the community. The plan would have cost $696,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funding for three years. The county added that the school district would have paid around $1 million.
“We have debated and re-debated resolutions regarding child care without actually ever getting to any kind of solution or conclusion,” County Board chair Monica Kruse said at the meeting.
She declared that the issue was at an “impasse” before recommending the new proposal.
There is no definite timeline for UW-Extension to come up with a new plan.