WAUSAU – In just eight years, Marathon County has lost 55 percent of its regulated childcare programs, an issue that has far-reaching consequences for children, families and the state’s future workforce.

At 10 a.m. today, Oct. 17, Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Route 51” host Shereen Siewert welcomes University of Wisconsin-Madison pediatrician Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, Marathon County Director of Special Education Kelly Kapitz, and early childhood advocate and educator Rachel Gianinni to talk about the dramatic effect of early childhood education.

Navsaria will share his knowledge about the human capacity for early intelligence, while Gianinni will discuss her experience in the field, along with her role in “No Small Matter,” a feature-length documentary film set for a public screening Oct. 23 at Wausau’s Westwood Conference Center. Kapitz will explain the impact of early childhood education on families and businesses in central and northern Wisconsin, and the factors that led to the decline of regulated childcare in the area.

“Route 51” is heard Thursdays at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 101.3 & 91.9/Wausau, AM 930/Auburndale-Stevens Point, 99.1/Stevens Point, 100.9/Marshfield, 90.3/Park Falls, 89.1/Adams-Wisconsin Rapids, and 89.9/Rhinelander-Eagle River. It is re-broadcast Fridays at 7 p.m. on 90.9/Wausau. Program archives are available at wpr.org/route51.