Bipartisan legislation increases access to help providers, families
LANSING, Mich., Oct. 6, 2021 — Today, the Michigan House of Representatives 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.
“Home day care providers fill an essential caregiver role for thousands of Michigan families,” said state Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi), sponsor of House Bill 5043. “There is a critical day care shortage, especially for families with infants or toddlers. Home providers offer the same excellent care as a regular day care center but with fewer staff members. This bill will simplify some of the red tape home day care providers need to traverse to be in compliance with state regulations and allow them to return their focus to taking care of the kids. I am proud that both sides of the aisle were dedicated to joining together for the good of the people.”
“The passage of this child care package is a win for families all across Michigan” said state Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton), sponsor of House Bill 5044. “Providing affordable child care that allows parents to work — especially working mothers who have been unable to return to the workforce following the pandemic, and fairly compensates hard-working child care providers is essential. HB 5044 would create an infant-toddler contract model that incentivizes increased wages and quality improvements in care. As the father to two small boys, I know firsthand how expensive child care is, and the financial impact it takes on Michigan families. This package is a big step in the right direction in making childcare more accessible and affordable for our working families and I am excited to continue the work that lies ahead.”
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).
The bills now head to the Senate.
State Rep. Kelly Breen
State Rep. Ranjeev Puri