Michigan is spending $100 million to open 1,000 new child care centers by 2024

BATTLE CREEK, MI — Michigan is investing $100 million to help open 1,000 new child care centers over the next two years in an effort to expand access to quality, affordable child care across the state.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the state’s new Caring for MI Future plan, a $100 million investment to increase the number of affordable child care centers and hire more child care staff in Michigan, according to a release from Michigan. Governor’s Office Press.

The plan includes $51.1 million in grants for child care companies to renovate and upgrade their facilities to meet licensing and quality standards and $11.4 million for companies to recruit and retain more of staff.

The program is part of the state’s ongoing efforts to treat child care as an economic development tool that can help parents re-enter the workforce. Last fall, Whitmer appropriated a total of $1.4 billion from the US federal bailout to help expand access to child care and get families back to work.

“Almost half of Michigan families live in a community without enough child care options to meet their needs,” Whitmer said in a prepared statement. “The lack of childcare options means that families are forced out of the workforce, work fewer hours or bundle childcare options that don’t work very well for their family. It does not work for children, families or employers.

The Center of American Progress estimated that 101,713 Michigan parents made career sacrifices in 2021 due to child care issues — a significant increase from 76,666 parents in 2019.

Availability and affordability continue to put parents between a rock and a hard place. An estimated 44% of Michigan’s population lives in a child care wilderness where there aren’t enough options. Meanwhile, child care for two children accounts for 27% of Michigan families’ income, according to CAP.

RELATED: 44% of families in Michigan live in a childcare desert. The state’s pilot program addresses accessible care.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said the coronavirus pandemic has revealed the importance of having access to quality child care in Michigan.

“One thing we’ve seen in the pandemic among everything else is that when there’s no place for the kids to go, everything just stops,” Gilchrist told a conference. release in Battle Creek on Monday, May 16. “Everything falls apart. Society doesn’t work when there’s no place for children to go.

Gilchrist said the $100 million plan will not only help launch new child care centers across the state, but also help support current facilities so they can continue to provide quality care to families.

“We have amazing child care contractors across the state, and right now they’re standing up for kids on a shoestring,” Gilchrist said in a prepared statement. “The Caring for MI Future plan addresses the most pressing needs facing child care entrepreneurs and strives to create a more sustainable child care market in Michigan.”

Michigan child care providers will be able to apply for a grant through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Grants will be available in these four key areas:

  • Support the identification and renovation of facilities: There will be $51.1 million in grants for child care businesses to renovate and upgrade facilities to meet licensing and quality standards. Grant applications will be available in late summer 2022.
  • Seed funding: The state will provide $23 million in start-up grants for new child care programs. Funding will be available before they are licensed and immediately after they receive their license.
  • Help recruiting staff: The state will invest more than $11.4 million to recruit, train and retain child care workers.
  • Business development tools: The state will invest $14.3 million in new businesses to make the start-up and licensing process clearer and faster for vendors. The funding will help businesses assess market demands, identify space, comply with health and safety regulations and create a business plan.

For a full list of funding opportunities and application deadlines, click here.

In January, Whitmer announced a $365 million program to help daycare staff by offering $1,000 bonuses to full-time staff. In the first round, nearly 6,000 child care providers received funding and 38,000 early childhood professionals received bonuses.

The state is now offering a second round of funding with an additional $365 million available to distribute as a bonus to workers. So far, nearly 3,400 programs have applied and funding is still available, the state said last week.

The deadline to apply for the second round of verifications is Thursday, May 26 at 6 p.m.

Learn more about MLive:

24-Hour Daycare Addresses Significant Need in Edison District of Kalamazoo

Second round of $1,000 bonuses available for Michigan childcare providers

44% of Michigan families live in a child care wilderness. The state’s pilot program addresses accessible care.

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