Workers in Wausau’s downtown could save big on child care, thanks to a new partnership with the Wausau River District.

Employees of businesses within the River District now qualify for a 10% discount on child care and priority enrollment at the YWCA of Wausau, says Elizabeth Field, director of the River District. Average child care costs in the greater Wausau area are about $165 per week, which adds up to $8,580 per year.

The partnership makes sense on a number of levels, says YWCA Executive Director Elizabeth Messner. Parents often find that child care close to the workplace is more convenient, and having the added perk adds value to working in the River District community.

“Of course, we’re in the River District, too, and we see this as a way to be a good partner,” Messner says.

The program is one of a few unique ways city officials and organizations are working to make Wausau more attractive to potential businesses and residents. The city’s down payment assistance program, Live it up Wausau, offers employees at participating businesses a $10,000 no-interest loan to help buy homes within city limits. So far, 10 loans have been granted since the program launched in March, with two more in the works. More than 20 local businesses are participating, says Chris Schock, Wausau’s interim economic development director.

River District officials hope to expand on perks for downtown workers in the coming months, Field says. “It’s just a great place to work.”