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Child care. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained health care and crashed the economy. A report Thursday outlined another major casualty: child care providers.

Statewide, as of mid-May, two out of five licensed childcare providers in the state had closed due to disruptions caused by the pandemic, states the report, produced by the Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF) drawing on data collected by the state Department of Children and Families (DCF).  While many are projected to reopen if the virus tamps down and the economy begins to ramp up, that could take time.

In 19 of the state’s 72 counties, more than half of licensed providers had shut down as

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