Editorial: Providing for our child care providers

Editorial: Providing for our child care providers

MADISON, Wis. — One of the enduring takeaways from this pandemic is the essential importance of childcare providers, and by extension, the danger caused by decades of undervaluing and under-compensating these professionals to whom we entrust our children.

There are two elements to this recognition. First, licensed daycare providers need help now so healthcare workers, first responders and others in essential jobs can continue to work. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi’s $3.5 million grant program announced last week is a good first step. The state legislature now needs to approve use of $51 million in federal funds to support early care and education.

But we also need to prepare now to raise compensation and benefits for childcare workers who will be critical to reopening the economy. This recognition is long overdue. We can’t wait any longer.