Over the last year the Wyoming Women’s Foundation has traveled the state to listen and learn from people like you to better understand what issues are impacting your community.

Time and again we heard that unreliable, unaffordable, or inaccessible childcare is a real problem. It leaves many Wyoming parents and caregivers unable to work as much as they need or want.

WYWF will work with others to find solutions; advocate for policies, processes and programs that work; and will celebrate the good work that’s being done across the state to address the issue.

ARPA & CCBDG at Work:

We know that more can be done around the issue of childcare, but we also want to make sure we’re highlighting steps made in the right direction.

During the COVID crisis, the Department of Family Services used American Rescue Plan Act dollars to positively impact the childcare community. They’ll continue those efforts permanently using Child Care Development Block Grant dollars. Let’s celebrate these four improvements:

1. Reimbursement for Providers

A permanent childcare assistance rate increase to the 50th percentile means providers will be reimbursed at 50% of current market rates when serving families who receive assistance. (Implemented Oct ’23 as federal requirement)

WYWF’s Take: This is an improvement from the past, as the previous rate fell at 45%. However, childcare providers barely make ends meet as it is. WYWF would love to see this rate increase to 75%, which is the federally recommended level – one that would help keep our provider’s doors open! 

2. Reimbursement for Childcare Providers Based on Number of Kids in the Program

Reimbursement assistance will be given to providers based on kids enrolled in a program, rather than attendance.

WYWF’s Take: Because kids are always out sick (they’re crawling petri dishes), reimbursing providers based on attendance makes it incredibly difficult to budget, especially because it’s rarely possible to fill a spot for a single day. Paying based on enrollment, rather than attendance helps providers better cover costs and keep their doors open.

3. Allow Parents to Access Child Care Assistance for More Activities Related to Work or Searching for a Job

This will allow for parent sleep time and initial job search as eligible activities for payment.

WYWF’s Take: Caregivers who work nights and need to sleep during the day will now be eligible to receive subsidies, which is incredibly important to the health and safety of both the child and parent. Additionally, if a caregiver is searching for a job, they can continue to receive subsidy assistance. This was temporarily an accommodation allowed during the pandemic that has now been made permanent.

4. Pilot Initiatives to Increase Access to Infant Care:

(No plan created yet for implementation).

WYWF’s Take: Infant care is the most expensive to provide due to the ratio of infants to caregivers being much lower (1 caregiver to 4 infants). This means for parents, finding infant care can be difficult. DFS is looking at reserving slots, specifically for infants receiving child care assistance; providing grants for infant care; and increasing the subsidy for infant care. We’re hopeful positive solutions will be found!


Department-level decisions such as these can have a big impact! 
With your help, we’ll continue to advocate to build more support for both small and big “P” policy items, and celebrate the progress around this item and other items impacting Wyoming women and girls.