LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – During the Thursday night La Crosse County Board meeting, a proposal for a new collaborative childcare plan with the La Crosse School District was tabled until next month.
The plan included a request for $700,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to create a neighborhood model for childcare at select La Crosse school campuses.
Some of those in opposition claim it will hurt private childcare centers that are already struggling to find employees.
Co-Owner of Sprout Childcare Sherry Picha said that staff shortages are a major issue.
“The center down the street is licensed for I believe for about 125. They already have 33 open spots,” Picha said. “They lose staff into the school district’s pilot model to figure out if they can do this, they risk having to close their doors. That’s 125 slots that are now gone.”
Picha said that La Crosse County providers have been meeting to develop a proposal for the board.
“This three-fold proposal will address a fast track in training to invest in a hands on model and a fast track that can be completed in three weeks. That would open up a new pipeline of employees to come in.” Picha said.
The proposal also includes stipends for local centers to match wages and benefits and encourage centers to improve quality so they could receive increased funds from the Child Care Counts Stabilization Payment Program.
The county’s executive committee is scheduled to review the provider’s proposed plan.
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