(MADISON) – Governor Tony Evers announced on April 13 the suspension of the administrative rules for the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Gov. Evers issued Emergency Order #26 on Monday to help critical staff have childcare opportunities available while also maintaining the safety of the staff working with the facilities, “Wisconsin’s early care educators continue to work hard to provide families of critical workers options for high-quality, safe child care during our public health emergency,” said Gov. Evers.

According to Evers, the order gives DCF flexibility on requirements for child care providers who work in a group, family, and in-home settings. as well as for the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program.

Gov. Evers notes the changes this issue implements for the DCF make it safe for child care programs to remain open and extends the hours of operation to offer overnight care for the families of critical workers. Departments can also suspend licensing visits and extend timelines for others.

Evers adds that the Wisconsin Shares changes will allow for those who qualify for the subsidy to remain in the program during the public health emergency.

In response to Gov. Evers order, the Department of Children and Families Secretary, Emilie Amundson says, “We appreciate the support and leadership the governor continues to provide the early care and education community.”

Amundsen continues, “This is an incredibly challenging time for many educators as they balance the needs of the families they serve and their own families, while also worrying about the future of their small business. These changes are a small way we can recognize those challenges while we work on a more comprehensive solution through additional funding and policy changes.”

Gov. Evers said, “Child care is very important to our immediate response, and it will remain a key priority as we continue to move forward. So, I want to thank these educators for all they have done and will do in the future for the families of Wisconsin.”