Governor Whitmer to call for pre-K for all 4-year-olds in Michigan during State of the State address

Plan will reportedly save families an average of $10,000 in childcare expenses

In Wednesday’s State of the State address, Governor Gretchen Whitmer will roll out a plan ensuring every 4-year-old in Michigan is guaranteed a preschool education.

The effort aims to help families with rising costs, as the plan will reportedly save families an average of $10,000 in childcare expenses.

Early childhood development experts are applauding the effort.

“I think it makes the playing field more equitable for all children to have the opportunity to attend preschool, and I think the benefits of preschool are only going to benefit all of us as a society,” said Cortney Aldrich of Michigan State University Extension program for child and family.

Aldrich says social and emotional skills learned in pre-K set the foundation for a person’s long-term success.

Whitmer’s plan could become a reality with Democrats fully controlling the state government.

On the other side of the aisle, Republican representative Brad Paquette is interested in learning more about how the plan will be implemented.

As a former teacher, he agrees with the importance of early childhood education but has a few questions about funding.

“Republicans spent a lot of time trying to make sure that we preserve our budget surplus his last term so they’ll be spent wisely, and I do think that expanding GSRP certainly has the potential to be a wise endeavor,” said Paquette. “I just wonder about the long-term implications when budgets aren’t so rosy.”

The governor’s office has yet to say how they plan to fund this. That may be something we will hear more about during Wednesday’s address.

Live stream: Michigan Gov. Whitmer delivers 2023 State of the State


About the Authors:

Jacqueline Francis is an award-winning journalist who joined the WDIV team in September 2022. Prior to Local 4, she reported for the NBC affiliate in West Michigan. When she’s not on the job, Jacqueline enjoys taking advantage of all the wonders Michigan has to offer, from ski trips up north to beach days with her dog, Ace.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.