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Governor Evers touts $340 million in budget plan dedicated to childcare during Rhinelander visit

Governor Tony Evers touted his childcare plan for the state budget during a visit to Rhinelander Monday.

Evers’ budget includes more than $340 million for the Child Care Counts program.

It’s a program that was started during the pandemic to provide funding for childcare centers to make sure they could continue to run.

It’s fairly open-ended as to what the money can be spent on. One local daycare previously told WXPR they used it to keep costs for families down.

Amanda Engstrom runs Tiny Tykes Day Care in Rhinelander. She received $33,000 through the Child Care Count Program.

“I’m hoping in the future for me to expand and get a bigger building and to meet the children’s needs,” said Engstrom when asked what she’ll use the money for.

Engstrom can currently have up to eight children and has 25 families on a waitlist for an infant spot.

Most of the kids she has right now are two or three years old.

Evers visited Tiny Tykes Monday saying the state’s economy depends on providing affordable childcare for workers.

While it’s unclear if Republicans will support this effort or others laid out in his budget, Evers said he does feel like it’s been different since his re-election.

“The temperature is down a little bit as far as interactions and we’re in good economic shape as a state government. So I think there’s hope in my belief that there will be some compromise but we’re a long way off,” said Evers.

Evers presented his budget to the legislature last month.

Lawmakers will spend the next several months re-writing it before it goes back to Evers for his approval or line-item veto.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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