Mayor Rhodes-Conway’s Statement on Taking Care of Children in Response to COVID-19
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 10:32am
The City of Madison is deeply involved in the coordination of childcare arrangements for medical personnel, protective service members and essential City services staff. We are in daily communication with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and our colleagues at Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC). We are working proactively and urgently to assess and fill childcare needs for essential workers. These efforts include helping workers find space for their children, consulting on expansion of current and temporary facilities, and coordination of temporary workers to these locations.
On Sunday, the Department of Children and Families issued new guidance to childcare programs making exceptions to most childcare rules to accommodate the needs of families during this time. They have requested waivers to provide families with Emergency Wisconsin Shares childcare subsidy eligibility determination. They have also provided childcare authorizations to expedite payment directly to childcare programs for a portion of the cost.
Families who do not currently receive Wisconsin Shares can request an authorization during this emergency period by contacting the local county/tribal Wisconsin Shares agency at https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/wishares/where-to-apply. Parents can select any regulated childcare Program. Eligible Wisconsin Shares recipients will have their authorizations sustained to ensure childcare payment continues at regulated programming/centers, regardless of child attendance or absence. Their website is https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/covid-19.
As we work together through this pandemic, I fully understand that our health care workers, public safety officials as well as basic city services providers are top priority. We will continue to coordinate with United Way to lend a helping hand, donate time and talent to support families and neighbors. You can continue to get updated information from the PHMDC website. As always, wash your hands regularly and practice social distancing. We will get through this together!
- Linda Vakunta, 608-266-4611