MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) — In a segment of UpNorthNews Radio, host Pat Kreitlow, with guests Kate Duffy and Emily Tyne from Motherhood for Good, tackled the contentious overnight decision by Wisconsin legislative Republicans to scrap Governor Evers’ proposal to extend the Child Care Counts program. This program, which had been a lifeline for many during the pandemic, was more than just financial aid—it was a symbol of support for families and childcare providers struggling to recover from the economic and social disruptions.
Kate Duffy conveyed the frustration felt by many, stating, “It’s hard not to feel like… the blows just keep coming from this Republican-led state legislature.” She highlighted the ongoing challenges, “Even though the health emergency of the pandemic is over, people are still reeling… they’re still trying to find their way.”
The segment brought to light the harsh realities of childcare availability in the state. Emily Tyne pointed out, “We live in a childcare desert in most of the state.” She underscored the gender disparity exacerbated by the pandemic, “For every one man that left the workforce, four women left… because there was not good childcare options.”
The guests didn’t shy away from sharing their personal struggles, which many listeners could relate to. Duffy shared, “I only have one child in daycare and it’s even harder to find a slot.” Tyne added a personal anecdote, “I have a five-year-old and we don’t have childcare for her next school year.”
…the child[care] industry is the industry that makes all other industries possible. People need reliable childcare for their kids to be able to work and contribute to the economy and domino effect, domino effect, domino effect…Kate Duffy, Motherhood for Good
The program’s cancellation has sparked outrage and mobilization among parents and advocates. Motherhood for Good is rallying the community to demand the reinstatement of funding, emphasizing that childcare is not just a personal issue but a statewide concern that affects all sectors of the economy. The urgency was underscored by the mention of a rally at the state Capitol organized by Corinne Hendrickson, a childcare provider who testified before Congress, to demand the reinstatement of the program’s funding.
The episode concluded with a call to action, urging listeners to participate in a rally at the state Capitol and to contact members of the Joint Finance Committee, especially Republicans, to voice their support for the Child Care Counts program. The message was clear: the fight for affordable, accessible childcare is far from over, and the community’s collective voice is crucial in this pivotal moment for Wisconsin’s families and economy.
Listen to the complete interview: