NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodDoor County


Door County childcare desert: Could relief be in sight?

Posted at 9:14 PM, Aug 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-29 11:40:31-04
  • Parents are struggling to find childcare options in Door County
  • Northern Door Children's Center has recently completed an expansion but is struggling to staff that expansion
  • Governor Tony Evers proposed more than $340 million in the 2023-25 biennial budget proposal to continue the Child Care Counts program.

"They did call me unfortunately, it's just not something I can budget into our finances even for three days a week," said Walker.
Jillian Walker is a mother of three.

She works full-time and says she has felt the struggles of finding affordable childcare in Door County.

"Our only other options, affordable options are in-home daycare. You only find those through word of mouth," said Walker.

Walker says she has friends who are afraid of having to find childcare in Door County if they decide to have children, they don't want to experience the struggles they see so many others going through.

She told me there is a big disconnect between people who live in Door County and tourists, and she says this issue is across the county.

"We struggle to make ends meet. We struggled to find decent, affordable housing. If you find affordable housing, chances are there's something wrong with, to be honest," said Walker.

Groups like Northern Door Children’s Center have been able to privately raise money through their board to expand their facilities allowing them to care for more children, but the staffing of these facilities has been another issue.

"To open that room, we would need two and a half staff people," said Trinkner-Peot.

The half represents employees who would fill in for full-time staff on their days off.

Cindy Trinkner-Peot, the Executive Director of Northern Door Children's Center says maintaining their current staff is crucial.

"The C.C.C. funding that's been coming from the state for a year now has really allowed us to increase what we are compensating our staff. We need to keep them it's a hard job," Trinkner-Peot.

She says the current childcare count's or C.C.C. funding is monthly and allows for budgeting.

Governor Tony Evers proposed more than $340 million in the 2023-25 biennial budget proposal to continue the Child Care Counts program.

However, this funding is set to end in January 2024 if it is not approved.

Jillian Walker says if things don't change for working residents who live in Door County year-round, she thinks the area itself will.

"I know lots of families moving out of the area because they can no longer sustain living here even though their families here this is where they grew up," said Walker.

A special session of the Wisconsin State Legislature will be held on September 20th where this issue will be discussed.