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Wisconsin Gov. Evers tours Holmen’s Little Feet & Helpful Hands, highlighting childcare centers’ need for state funding



A local child care business called Little Feet & Helpful Hands is hoping that Wisconsin lawmakers will have helpful hands, and devote more money to child care services.

Governor Tony Evers took a tour of a Little Feet center in Holmen on Monday, and he said child care should be something legislators are willing to support.

“To me, it’s an easy one,” Evers told reporters. “I think there are some people yet that believe that child care is a mom or dad event…but at the end of the day, parents should have that choice, if they want to work.”

Gov. Tony Evers meets with staffers at the Little Feet & Helpful Hands day care center in Holmen on Monday

Evers has called a special session for next month, to deal with child care and other needs.

One of the owners of Little Feet, Sheri Betz, says cuts in state funding make the cost of her service less affordable for families.

Little Feet & Helpful Hands has two locations in Holmen

“It’s been cut in half, so right now our income from tuition is less than we have going out for payroll,” said Betz. “So it’s hurtful right now without having it.”

Betz says parents pay around $200 a week in tuition to send their young kids to the Little Feet center. Rules require the company to have one teacher for every four infants at the center.

The state’s Child Care Counts program is scheduled to end in January, and Gov. Evers wants $365 million allocated to keeping child care centers open.

According to a study by the Century Foundation, 2100 child care centers in Wisconsin could close if the Child Care Counts program is allowed to shut down. That could lead to the loss of nearly 4900 child care jobs.

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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