What to know about Gov. Whitmer’s plan to invest in, expand child care

Plan would invest $1.4 billion

Michigan's $1.4 billion investment in child care aims to help parents get back to work
Michigan's $1.4 billion investment in child care aims to help parents get back to work

LANSING, Mich.Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan on Monday to invest $1.4 billion in federal child case funding to expand access to child care, make child care more affordable and to support child care professionals.

The plan aims to help parents go back to work while knowing they have an affordable option for childcare.

Read: Whitmer: Expand preschool to 22,000 4-year-olds in Michigan

Two rounds of stimulus funding passed through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allows for expanded investment in child care.

Read: Michigan governor signs bills to help veterans, families

Michigan Gov. Whitmer unveils $1.4 billion plan to expand affordable child care with federal funds
Michigan Gov. Whitmer unveils $1.4 billion plan to expand affordable child care with federal funds

What to know about the plan

The plan aims to make child care more affordable for Michigan families.

Right now, the income eligibility is at 150% of the federal poverty level for a family of four. Officials want to temporarily increase that to 200% for a family of four, which would make low or no-cost child care available to 150,000 more children.

The temporary increase would last from Aug. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2023. After the deadline the income eligibility would permanently increase to 160%.

Officials want to increase access to the child care subsidy for student parents enrolled in Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners for a 12-month period.

The plan would offer more support for early educators and offer premium pay for child care professionals with stipends quarterly from July, 2021 through September 2022.

Other goals:

  • Maintain mental health support for children enrolled in child care
  • Stabilize child care businesses
  • Raise child care subsidy rates by 20% for providers to move closer to the market rate for child care
  • Provide business stimulus grants to all child care providers
  • Expand access to child care
  • Provide grants to new and expanding sites in communities that don’t have adequate child care

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Whitmer’s Executive Recommendation released in February had a child care proposal based on state and federal resources available at the time. This latest update adds on to those priorities. Because ARPA passed, it allows for an expansion of the policies.


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.