(WSYM) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and several other state leaders announced a proposal to invest $1.4 billion in federal child care funding in several different areas.
According to the state, the two rounds of stimulus funding allowed the state to invest more than the $241.5 million the state gets annually in federal Child Development and Care program dollars.
The main goal, according to the state, is to make child care more affordable for families and provide more financial support and security.
The plan would also increase income eligibility from 150% of the federal poverty level to 200% for a family of four from Aug. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2023, which would make low or no-cost child care available to around 150,000 more children. It would then increase to 160% annually after Sept. 2023.
The plan would also offer premium pay for child care professionals with quarterly stipends, raise child care subsidy rates by 20% and provide grants to new and expanding sites in communities without adequate child care.
“All families deserve access to quality child care that meets their needs and the investments I’ve announced today will make child care more attainable and affordable for Michigan families,” Whitmer said in a release. “My plan will support Michigan child care businesses and honor child care professionals by providing more financial support and security to providers. I’ve pledged my support for early educators s and this approach will deliver that support.”
“When parents have access to affordable, available, reliable, and safe child care – it is transformative for Michigan’s economy,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist added. “Under Governor Whitmer’s leadership, we have a one-time injection of 6 times the amount of resources that we receive in a typical year for child care. This historic investment would change the lives of families across our state for the better. When we invest into our child care system, we’re allowing for parents to work and be even more productive and providing an environment that children can thrive in.”