Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 3, 2021
Governor Whitmer Encourages Childcare Providers to Apply for State Grant to Deliver $1,000 Bonuses to Staff By 12/8 Deadline
Licensed programs have less than a week left to apply and receive funding for $1,000 staff bonuses and thousands more to keep their doors open, help get people back to work, and continue serving children
LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer reminded licensed childcare programs that there is less than one week left to apply for the Child Care Stabilization Grant authorized in the bipartisan State of Michigan budget the governor signed in September. The $380 million grant will be used to provide $1,000 bonuses to childcare professionals and awards thousands of dollars in operational grants to local childcare businesses.
"Childcare is the backbone of a strong economy and childcare professionals and programs go above and beyond every day to care for our kids, helping them learn and grow in a safe environment," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. " Countless working parents rely on childcare, and without the tireless, often thankless work of providers and professionals, working families would not be able to get back to work and pursue their potential. I was proud that we were able to come together and put childcare providers and professionals first in the bipartisan budget I signed. Thanks to our collaboration, we are delivering every childcare professional a $1,000 bonus in recognition of their incredible sacrifices, expanding low or no-cost care to 105,000 kids, and helping providers invest in and improve their programs. With this investment, we can ensure kids and working families succeed as we continue ushering in a new era of prosperity for our communities."
"Childcare providers are enormously important in supporting Michigan's children, families, businesses, and the economy as a whole," said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. "These state funds help recognize and appreciate childcare providers and affords them some needed financial support to help keep their programs open and focused on our earliest learners."
"These grants can truly stabilize and even accelerate programming for many early education and care providers, and that's why we are committing resources to make sure providers know about and take advantage of this opportunity. This includes daily posts and phone calls to providers where our team is able to overcome hesitancy and even dispel some myths that have happily resulted in providers starting their applications even while on the phone," said Denise Smith, Implementation Director at Hope Starts Here in Detroit.
"These grants help childcare providers retain and attract staff, improve quality, and invest in their program's future. We're working with a statewide team to encourage every provider to apply. If you're a licensed childcare program, and you haven't applied, please contact your Great Start to Quality Resource Center for help you apply by December 8th," said Dr. Tami Mannes, Director of Early Childhood Services at the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District.
Child Care Stabilization Grant Information
So far, over 4,000 programs have applied, and funding is still available. Licensed childcare providers should visit Michigan.gov/childcare to review frequently asked questions and apply. Translated versions of the grant documents are available in Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Kinyarwanda, and Spanish.
Childcare professionals will be awarded bonuses directly from their employer and do not need to apply.
The application will close at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, December 8th.
Delivering for Families
These grants are part of a $1.4 billion investment to expand access to quality, affordable childcare. Earlier this month, Governor Whitmer expanded access to free or low-cost childcare to 105,000 more Michigan children and their families. Families of four earning up $49,000 are now eligible for free or low-cost childcare, boosting Michigan's economic momentum by helping parents go back to work knowing that their kids are cared for. Families can apply for support by visiting MiBridges.Michigan.gov.
In September, the governor signed the Fiscal Year 2022 budget bill that includes game-changing investments in childcare and delivers on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to families, communities, and small business. The budget puts 167,000 Michiganders on a tuition-free path to higher-education or skills training, repairs or replaces 100 bridges while creating 2,500 jobs, and makes a $500 million deposit into our rainy day fund, the largest one-time ever, bringing its balance to nearly $1.4 billion, the highest ever.
Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer and legislature worked together to put Michigan students first and passed the largest significant education investment in state history, closing the funding gap between schools in Michigan and including a historic amount of resources for schools to hire more nurses, counselors, and social workers.