LANSING, Mich., Sept. 28, 2021 — Today, the House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors passed a bipartisan package of bills to assist Michigan’s current child care facilities and providers while expanding assistance for emerging caregivers. The bills come after a $1.5 billion investment in child care included in the recent budget, which was advocated for by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and members of her bipartisan Taskforce on Child Care.
“Coupled with our historic $1.5 billion investment in child care, these bills represent a monumental step in providing quality care for children across Michigan,” said state Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi), sponsor of House Bill 5043. “Right now, the industry is struggling and Michigan is losing providers to financial distress and burn out. By creating a regional one-stop shop for home-based providers, we would be providing training and professional development, connections to peers, operational support, and business services. Streamlining the process will allow in-home providers to focus more on our children and less on bureaucratic paper pushing.”
“Child care is the single largest expense for Michigan working families,” said state Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton), sponsor of House Bill 5044. “This issue is not only about child care; it’s an economic and labor issue that forces young parents — mostly women — to pick between child care and their careers. Investing in child care means that fewer working families will have to make these kinds of sacrifices. And while our recent budget addresses our funding issue, we’re working hard to bring relief to our child care providers as well. HB 5044 would create a contract model for child care that incentivizes increased wages and quality improvements in care. It’ll ensure our children receive the best care possible while their parents work.”
The Governor’s Task Force’s bill package takes on regulatory and organizational issues by:
- Giving providers time to comply with new health and safety rules by allowing a 90-day grace period during implementation.
- Helping providers locate where families live and work by giving child care providers a safe path to locate in multi-use buildings.
- Reducing the burden on providers by allowing their health and safety records to be shared with parents online.
- Letting quality and caring providers thrive by cracking down on bad actors who try to game the system and get out of regulations.
- Improving quality of and access to quality infant/toddler care by allowing a contract model that covers the cost of care.
- Helping expand and support family child care providers by creating Family Child Care Networks.
- Allowing increased ratios for family and group homes who have a proven record of success.
Gov. Whitmer’s bipartisan Task Force on Child Care includes Democratic state Reps. Breen and Puri, as well as state Reps. Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann) and Greg VanWoerkom (R-Norton Shores).