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Child Care in Michigan Has Improved Through Historic Investments

LANSING—Child care programs in Michigan were able to respond to the needs of working families, and over 2,100 infants and toddlers gained access to child care, allowing working parents to find and maintain employment through the pandemic, according to findings released today by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC).

Child care in Michigan has improved over the past two years with historic, bipartisan investments negotiated by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan legislature as a one-time response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic helping Michigan families and child care providers.

“As a direct result of this investment, Michigan was able to keep more child care programs open, operating, and serving families,” said Lisa Brewer-Walraven, director of Child Development and Care in MDE’s Office of Great Start.

In September 2021, the governor and state legislature passed a $1.4 billion investment in child care into law, which included over $700 million in child care stabilization grants for individual small businesses providing child care for thousands of working families across Michigan.

Through a partnership with MDE, ECIC analyzed child care data from three rounds of Michigan’s recent child care stabilization grant applications. Child care programs applied for and received more than $700 million in child care stabilization grants, and the information provided in the grant applications revealed data snapshots about the child care sector in Michigan that had never before been collected.

ECIC released new fact sheets on those findings that demonstrate the critical role that child care plays in Michigan’s economy. Other key findings include:

  • The number of child care programs offering care for infants and toddlers during non-traditional hours more than doubled.
  • Due to the temporary increase in income eligibility and provider rates for publicly funded child care subsidy, child care programs showed an overall increase of 43% in enrolled children receiving subsidy and an 18% increase in the number of programs that accept subsidy-eligible families.
  • The 5,100 child care programs that received child care stabilization grant funding have collectively recruited and added 1,500 new child care workers to their workforce, which creates more care openings for working families.

According to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Michigan has retained 93% of its child care programs through the pandemic.