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Gov. Whitmer Celebrates Expansion of MI Tri-Share Child Care Program Which Supports Michigan's Working Families
January 21, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2022
Gov. Whitmer Celebrates Expansion of MI Tri-Share Child Care Program WhichSupports Michigan's Working Families
LANSING, Mich. - As part of the state's efforts to increase access to high quality, affordable child care for working families, help retain talent and remove a major barrier to employment, the Michigan Women's Commission (MWC) was awarded $800,000 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to launch two additional regional pilots of the MI Tri-Share Child Care Program. Mothering Justice in Detroit and Battle Creek Shared Services Alliance in Battle Creek will serve as the new facilitator hubs administering these grant dollars.
"Our investment in high-quality, affordable child care, continues to help parents get back to work and is foundational to our economic recovery," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "As we drive down the cost of child care in Michigan, these lasting investments and public-private partnerships will empower us to help more working families in Michigan. In Michigan today, one in three children 12 and under are eligible for low or no-cost childcare, and we will continue working to expand access and lower costs."
Through Tri-Share, the cost of child care is shared equally by an eligible employee, their employer and the State of Michigan, with coordination being provided regionally by a facilitator hub.
"Child care is integral to the economic stability of Michigan families," said Cheryl Bergman, CEO of the MWC. "While administering Tri-Share, we continue to witness its positive impact and how it helps alleviate the financial burden families face. With the overwhelming positive response and support from the Whitmer administration and foundations like the Kellogg Foundation, the MWC continues to be well-positioned to further expand the program moving forward."
The Kellogg Foundation grant also includes funds for an outside evaluation of how Tri-Share is working, as well as investments in and supports for child care providers, such as training and professional development. Tri-Share facilitator hubs currently administer the pilot program in the Great Lakes Bay region, Northwest Lower Peninsula region, West Michigan region, Calhoun County and the City of Detroit.
"High-quality, cost-effective child care needs to be regarded as a basic public service and a means to position every child to achieve future success," said Faye Nelson, Director Michigan Programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. "The Kellogg Foundation is proud to make this investment to support the continued expansion and success of Tri-Share."
"Child care is a right and we are excited to assist in furthering opportunities for the whole family. This is a first step in creating a system that is more accessible." said Krista McClure, Director of Special Projects at Mothering Justice. "We're proud to be part of a program helping more families achieve this kind of success."
Tri-Share, a first of its kind program in the country, has received bi-partisan support. The legislature included $2.5M in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget to expand the Tri-Share pilot program following Gov. Whitmer's recommendation. The budget also included a historic investment in child care, allocating $1.4 billion of federal COVID funds to help support child care providers, reduce costs and expand subsidies to another 105,000 Michigan families. As a result, thousands of parents will be able to re-enter the workforce after the disruptions of COVID and the state is laying the foundation for a more equitable and sustainable long-term base of support for early childhood in Michigan.
"Employees receiving child care assistance see improved employment outcomes, are employed at higher rates and see greater job retention," said Kathleen Moore, Executive Director of the Battle Creek Shared Services Alliance. "In an era when we're seeing parents choosing between their jobs and child care services, it's inspiring to see Tri-Share succeeding and growing."
Details about the Tri-Share program, including current pilot regions and participating employers, can be found at michigan.gov/Tri-Share.