Daycare has always been difficult to find for many families even before the pandemic.  But the effects of the last two years has only seen that shortage of options shrink considerably.

City leaders in Superior are looking to do something about it.

The proposal is being led by Superior City Councilor Jenny Van Sickle.  Her plan would make changes to the city budget outlined by Mayor Jim Paine - diverting $200,000 from the Neighborhood Improvement Fund and using that instead to "address an identified issue in the current labor shortage".

According to an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], the funding will come from funds that were allocated from federal recovery money. The main attempt is to "increase the number of local child care providers" that exist within the city limits, providing more options for those people who live and work in Superior.

City of Superior, WI sign
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Van Sickle is spotlighting the issue as something she feels is often overlooked when city leaders and administrators discuss economic development:

"I want the people who are thinking about opening a child care or people who have considered it in the past to see that we have their back."

As proposed, the program would be a flexible means for individuals who are considering opening a child care facility to have access to the necessary funding they may have.  The program would be run "similar to the city's small business grant program to provide funding that can be used toward construction, licensing, education, and technology to facilitate new child care facilities in Superior."

The next step for the proposal is action by the Superior City Council.  The item is on the agenda for their next meeting, happening Tuesday, February 1, 6:30 PM in the Government Center.

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