Unlocking Opportunities

Michigan women face several barriers that often prevent full and continuous participation in the workforce. Most of these barriers come from the costs - in time, dollars and energy - of caregiving for others.

For example, the availability and affordability of high-quality child care limits women's choices in job types, work hours and even whether to work outside the home, especially for women of color and women in low-income brackets (Michigan League for Public Policy). Without guaranteed paid parental leave across all sectors and jobs, many Michigan women must make tough decisions about whether and when to start or expand their families (WZZM13Lansing State Journal). Women also take on a disproportionate amount of overall family caregiving - and that caregiving is growing more complex, including taking time off work to accompany aging parents and grandparents to medical appointments (National Partnership for Women & Families).

The Unlocking Opportunities Committee will pursue initiatives to eliminate these barriers to work choice.


The Michigan Women's Commission conducted a "Survey of Child Care Use During the Pandemic" from September through October 2020. We wanted to know how Michigan parents were handling child care during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, who they prefer to provide child care during and after the pandemic, and what would make them feel comfortable sending their kids to child care outside the home.

Download our survey results



From January 25, 2021, until 12:00 PM (Noon) on February 22, 2021, the Michigan Women's Commission is accepting proposals to lead regional program management of the MI Tri-Share Child Care Program (Tri-Share). Through Tri-Share, the cost of child care is shared by an employer, the employee and the State of Michigan, with coordination being provided regionally by a facilitator hub. This Request for Proposals (RFP) seeks applicants to serve as a regional facilitator hub.

The MI Tri-Share Child Care Program, in its pilot phase, is an innovative approach to increasing access to high quality, affordable child care for working families. Tri-Share helps employers retain talent and remove one barrier to employment. The program will operate initially in three regions of the state, including one rural region and one urban or suburban region. Public Act 166 of 2020, the authorizing legislation, requires that one region must be located in a city with a population of between 38,000 and 39,000 and in a county with a population of between 172,000 and 173,000 according to the most recent federal decennial census.

Download the full RFP, program description and proposal template

Download Attachment A template

Download MI Tri Share Child Care Pilot Program FAQ's