Getting Started

    • The Child Development and Care Handbook has been updated as of October 1, 2020.

    • To see if you qualify for payment assistance, check out the Parent section of our website for details.

Contact US

    • For Questions Regarding:
    • Being a license exempt child care provider call 866-990-3227, ext. 1.
    • Your billing or child care payments call 866-990-3227 ext. 2.
    • License exempt provider criminal history reviews call 866-990-3227, ext. 5.
    • For child care licensing information call 866-685-0006 or visit
    • Great Start to Quality Orientation training, call 877.614.7328 or visit

What's New

  • COVID Absence Hours for Providers

    Effective pay period 021 (September 27, 2020 – October 10, 2020) through pay period 026 (December 6, 2020 – December 19, 2020), child care providers may request a special provision to access up to 60 additional absence hours, per child, due to program closure and/or individual absences related to COVID-19.   Please note:  these hours are not automatically granted to providers.  Providers must meet the criteria below to be eligible for the additional absence hours.

    Rationale:  Current policy allows for a maximum of 360 absence hours per year for each child. To preserve this annual allotment for non-COVID-related absences, lawmakers and the governor approved a policy change that allows each child to use up to 60 additional absence hours between pay period 021 and pay period 026 for eligible COVID-related absences. These hours are paid for with funding from the coronavirus relief fund.

    How to Bill if Child is Absent During Pay Periods 018 through 026?   Providers should bill for absence hours using the I-Billing system following the guidelines in the CDC Child Care Handbook.  If a child is absent due to an eligible COVID reason, and expected to return to care, bill absence hours for the time when the child would have been in your care.  Eligible COVID-related reasons include:

    • Absences due to program- or classroom-wide closures because of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or Absences due to an individual child’s suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.  This includes if a child is quarantining due to a possible exposure.
    • The absence hours should reflect the days and times a child would normally be in care.  For example, if the child is enrolled to attend Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but not in your care Tuesdays and Thursdays, you may bill absence hours for Monday, Wednesday, or Friday only when the child is not in your care due to a COVID absence.
    •  As always, licensed providers should have a written policy to charge families for absences to bill the CDC program for absences.

    After the absence hours have been billed:
    Call the CDC office at 866-990-3227 and request the 60 extra COVID hours.  Please have all information in front of you when you call as CDC staff will ask for information, including the names of children and the dates of absences.

    For more information and instructions please see the COVID Absence Hour Memo.  If you have questions related to COVID absence hour billing please call 866-990-3227.


  • Child Care Relief Fund Grants! Round 6 grants are now closed. We will not be granting exceptions due to the December deadlines we are working to meet to ensure funding is spent.

    ** Update** MDE has announced more flexibility in how providers can spend operational funds. Review the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more. You can also review the Application Questions here.

    The Child Care Relief Fund is a grant program that helps child care providers cover costs during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The goal of the program is to help you stay in business and make child care more affordable for Michigan families.

    What's new this month?

    • Continued funding for families is available - A flat rate tuition credit to help make child care more affordable for families.
    • Operational funds to help support providers - Operational funding for providers - all open providers are eligible for at least $9,000 in operational funds.


    Why are these grants available? The Legislature authorized MDE to expand this round of the Child Care Relief Fund to include operational funds for providers and tuition credits for families. Initially, $125 million was appropriated. Nearly $25 million was awarded to tuition credits to date, $20 million is supporting new subsidy policies related to school age children and absence hours, $10 million was redirected to support other COVID priorities, and the remaining $70 million will support Round 6. Funds are only available to OPEN and licensed providers.

    These grants are available on a first come first serve basis. Incomplete and duplicate applications will cause processing delays and will move your application to a new processing date.

    For more information, review the Frequently Asked Questions (Rev. 10/21/20) document before completing the Grant Application.


  • There is no deadline to spend these funds.

    Round 6 is funded through the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. States must use these dollars no later than December 30, 2020. The state is meeting this deadline by providing funding to you before that date. Child care providers are not required to spend these funds by the end of the year.

    You can spend these funds on what your organization needs.

    These funds are being awarded because you experienced a business interruption this year. That means at some point since March 2020, your typical operations changed due to COVID-19.

    The state is permitted to use the Coronavirus Relief Fund to help organizations, like child care providers, as economic stimulus to keep their doors open. By awarding the grant to you, the state has met its federal compliance obligations, and you can use these funds to meet your unique needs. The state will not indicate what you can and cannot do with these funds. You can decide how best to support your business.



  • Frequently Asked Questions from Previous Grant Rounds

    Additional Resources for you!

    Also see the new CCDBG Grant Guidance and CFDA Information.