With support from the legislature and new management strategies at the Department of Children and Families, Secretary Reggie Bicha says they now have more tools to fight fraud and to better ensure the safety of children in the Wisconsin Shares program.

“As you know the Department of Children and Families did not create the problems in Wisconsin’s child care programs, we were created to fix them.”

Bicha testifies at the joint committee on audit that his agency has identified and imposed “sweeping reforms” in the state’s taxpayer-subsidized child-care program.

Republican Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) questions Bicha, citing the National Association for Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies, which ranks Wisconsin 6th in the nation for having regulations and standards, but 41st for oversight.

Lazich suggests maybe the agency simply needs enforcement of existing policies.”

Bicha refutes the latter ranking due to a miscalculation. Also, he tells Lazich the “reforms” mean they’ve improved what they already had in place.

“New leadership, new management approaches, new priorities.”

He says Wisconsin Shares is a “very, very different program” today than it was in July of 2008 when the Department of Children and Families was created.

Jackie Johnson 1:52

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