Child care is an issue that affects all of us in Door County. Although not all of us are directly affected as parents, we are affected as grandparents, employers, employees and consumers of services. This area suffers from a shortage of child care providers, making it difficult for parents of preschool and school-aged children to work, whether during traditional or non-traditional business hours. The solutions for this are complex both logistically and financially. Until we have more solutions, Door County is unable to attract young families to the peninsula. We are known in Wisconsin as a child care wasteland because there are so few regulated options for families to turn to.
Legislation passed by Congress, called the American Rescue Plan Act, has filtered down to the state of Wisconsin to help meet some of our community’s child care needs. Most people don’t know that child care assistance is not a new concept for the federal government. In the 1940s, Congress passed the Lanham Act, which primarily provided high-quality child care for families nationwide as mothers went to work in the defense industry. During his time, approximately one million children were served. In the 1960s, Project Head Start was created by President Lyndon Johnson as part of his war on poverty and to date has served more than 37 million children and families, including county children by Door. In 1971, a bipartisan Congress passed the Comprehensive Child Development Act only to be opposed at the last minute by President Nixon, leading to the talking points given against public support for child care. of children used today.
Currently, there is bipartisan support for President Biden’s proposal on 3K and 4K. Americans support affordable, quality schooling and care for young children. Let’s bring more to Door County with public sector funding and with Republican and Democratic support. Opponents hurt us all.
Becky Van Houten
Fish Creek, Wis.