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Wisconsin state grant program announced during La Crosse visit, where 88 business will get $10 million for childcare

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DCF state Secretary Emilie Amundson speaks at a news conference at Aptiv in La Crosse on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2022. To her left is state Assembly Rep. Jill Billings. Aptiv president Jenny Felty is on Amundson's left. (PHOTO: @wisdcf on Facebook)

A lack of quality, affordable child care may be preventing many parents from getting or keeping jobs.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) secretary was in La Crosse on Wednesday to announce 88 businesses would receive $10 million in a program called “Partner Up!“.

Wisconsin DCF Sec. Emilie Amundson speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at Aptiv in La Crosse. (PHOTO: @wisdcf on Facebook)

The program will help employers pay for childcare options for workers. The DCF secretary Emilie Amundson said during Wednesday’s visit to Aptiv that the partnership is good for both families and employers.

“We found that when businesses, childcare, economic development entities, and other partners come to the table together and innovate, we all benefit,” Amundson said.

Aptiv applied for a Partner Up! grant because it has had trouble keeping workers in a tight labor market. Aptiv president Jenny Felty said they did not hesitate to apply.

“We are all looking to see where we can eliminate expenses to make our household budgets work,” Felty said. “When we can provide a benefit that offsets the barrier of child care expenses, it is one less thing for individuals to worry about when they’re trying to manage their personal finances.”

About $55 million has been paid to hundreds of childcare providers in the region through relief programs. Project Growth, which includes the Partner Up grants, is giving $10 million this fall to 88 businesses around Wisconsin to fund child care needs.

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.

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