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Gov. Whitmer Announces Application is Now Live for $50M in Grants to Open and Grow Child Care Facilities in Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

November 3, 2022  

Contact: press@michigan.gov  

Laura Silverman, lsilverman@iff.org

 

Gov. Whitmer Announces Application is Now Live for $50M in Grants to Open and Grow Child Care Facilities in Michigan

Grant is part of state’s Caring for MI Future initiative to open or expand 1,000 child care programs by the end of 2024, applications for grants from implementation partner IFF now open 

 

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that applications for the Caring for MI Future: Child Care Facilities Improvement Fund are now open. Child care entrepreneurs who are interested in starting or expanding a child care facility can apply for a grant to reduce the cost of converting space that meets child care facility guidelines. The $50 million to open and grow new child care facilities as part of the state’s Caring for MI Future initiative. Caring for MI Future is a $100 million investment to help Michigan families find quality, affordable child care in their community by opening 1,000 new or expanded child care programs by the end of 2024. 

 

“Today, too many Michigan families live in a community without enough child care options to meet their needs, meaning families are forced to leave the workforce, work fewer hours, or piece together options that don’t work well for their family,” said Governor Whitmer. “That’s why we launched Caring for MI Future, a $100 million, bipartisan investment to establish or expand 1,000 child care programs by the end of 2024. Today we take a step forward towards getting this done, with $50 million in grant funds to help child care entrepreneurs open or grow their business. Let’s keep working together to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care that meets people’s needs so we can grow our economy and move Michigan forward.” 

 

“As a parent, I know how critical it is to ensure access to affordable, high-quality child care,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “A part of our Caring for MI Future initiative, these Child Care Facilities Improvement Fund grants will help new and expanding child cares renovate facilities and build learning environments that help kids thrive and set them up for success. Governor Whitmer and I are committed to ensuring that parents in every Michigan community can go to work knowing their kids are cared for.” 

 

Grants are being administered in partnership with IFF, a mission-driven lender, developer, and real estate consultant, the Michigan Departments of Education and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.  

 

“Quality early childhood education is essential to the vitality of communities and safe and healthy spaces are a crucial part of this,” said Joe Neri, IFF CEO. “For nearly 35 years, IFF has worked to increase access to quality early childhood education, for all children, creating and supporting safe and inspiring learning spaces in the Midwest. Aligning programmatic and facilities quality is at the core of what we do and so we’re honored to work with the Michigan Department of Education to facilitate this program and bestow the funds, and our knowledge and research, to providers across the state.” 

 

Through the Caring for MI Future: Child Care Facilities Improvement Fund, new and expanding child care entrepreneurs in Michigan can apply for grants. The grants which range in size from $50,000 for home-based child care and $150,000 for center-based programs, help providers to complete minor renovations and improvements to meet licensing and quality standards. 

 

The Child Care Facilities Improvement Fund will address facility quality related to heating and cooling, ventilation, noise, lighting, classroom furnishings, and outdoor play areas, which are proven to contribute to quality learning environments and positively impact children’s learning, development, and well-being. Eligible applicants include licensed child care providers located in the State of Michigan who are newly licensed providers or existing providers expanding their licensed capacity. 

 

For a full breakdown of eligibility requirements and information on the application process visit michigan.gov/caringformifuture

 

Child care entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit Our Strong Start, to connect with a navigator and apply for all grants available for new and expanding child care businesses.  

 

Caring for MI Future  

Caring for MI Future is a $100 million investment to help more Michigan families find quality, affordable child care in their community. Today, too many communities do not have enough child care options to meet demand. To respond, the state is investing $100 million to dramatically increase access to child care across the state and open 1,000 new, or expanded, child care programs by the end of 2024. This strategy responds to the most pressing needs facing child care entrepreneurs and creates sustainable systems to support the current and next generation of child care business owners.  

 

To learn more about Caring for MI Future, visit www.michigan.gov/caringformifuture

 

Child care entrepreneurs can access all State of Michigan child care resources through Our Strong Start. Resources available include applications for Prelicensure, Start-up and Facilities grants, business planning tools, licensing assistance and trained navigators to assist entrepreneurs through the licensing and grant processes. In addition, through Our Strong Start, current and future child care educators can learn about scholarships and grants available to offset educational costs for students pursuing degrees that prepare them to work or professionally advance in the child care field. 

 

Delivering for Families  

Caring for MI Future is part of a bipartisan $1.4 billion investment to expand access to quality, affordable child care and get Michigan families back to work. Child care is often the largest expense in a family’s budget and one in three Michigan families are now eligible for free or low-cost child care.  

 

To qualify, families must:  

  • Have a child under age 13   
  • Need child care because they’re working or going to school   
  • Have a qualifying income.   
  • Your monthly income must be less than $2,686 for a family of 2, $3,386 for a family of 3, or $4,085 for a family of 4.   
  • Visit Michigan.gov/childcare for a complete list of reasons families may qualify for low or no cost child care and qualifying income levels for larger families.   

 

It only takes two minutes to see if you’re likely to qualify. Visit greatstarttoquality.org/calculator. Families can apply for child care support by visiting MiBridges.Michigan.gov.  

 

About IFF

IFF is a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant, and developer that helps communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income populations and individuals with disabilities. Since 1988, IFF has provided $1.3 billion in flexible, affordable financing to nonprofits serving a variety of sectors – affordable housing, health care, education, community development, and more. These investments have leveraged $4.0 billion, developed more than 33.4 million square feet of real estate, and impacted communities by creating more than 15,573 child care slots, 158,232 school seats, 538,288 new patient visits, and 15,523 units of affordable housing. To learn more, follow IFF on LinkedIn, TwitterFacebook or visit www.iff.org