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State officials commemorate child care grants

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CHILD CARE MEETING.jpg

The Secretaries of the DCF and WEDC visited Viroqua on Wednesday, commemorating "Project Growth" grants awarded to Viroqua Area Schools and Driftless Development.

VIROQUA, Wis. (WXOW) - The Secretaries of the DCF and WEDC visited Viroqua on Wednesday, commemorating "Project Growth" grants awarded to Viroqua Area Schools and Driftless Development.

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's "Project Growth" program focuses on supporting innovative solutions for the struggling child care industry.

"We get to partner with DCF and through other organizations for strategic planning to truly make sure that we are creating a new building and a new program that's able to function and sustain over the long haul, which is part of the issue with a lot of child care facilities," said Tom Burkhalter, superintendent for Viroqua Area Schools.

Viroqua Area Schools received a grant for $75,000.

The school district plans to adapt an 11,000 square foot building to provide child care for up to 120 kids. Construction will begin in August with completion set for February 2023 and a March opening date. The partnership is with Vernon Memorial Health, the previous owner of the former assisted living facility.

Driftless Development plans to use their grant money to renovate part of a 10,000 square foot building in Prairie du Chien. Part of the space is already in use for adult day care, but will now include a space just for child care.

"Project Growth" is funded by a $30 million federal grant awarded to the State of Wisconsin for early childhood care and education.

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