LANSING, Mich., March 16, 2023 — State Rep. Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City) came to Lansing to advocate for better access to child care in Northwest Michigan. The governor announced last week that 16 different organizations serving Michigan received a total of $2.4 million in Regional Child Care Planning Grants from the Early Childhood Investment Corp.’s (ECIC) Child Care Innovation Fund. One of the awarded organizations is Networks Northwest in the 103rd House District. It will receive a $150,000 grant to help families in the area receive access to the affordable child care they need.

Networks Northwest is receiving two payments from ECIC — one initial payment of $75,000 and a second payment of $75,000, after 6 months, provided work progresses and Network Northwest participates in the required meetings and reporting. This grant can be used on costs associated with supporting the participation of parents and child care providers; costs associated with assessing and understanding regional child care needs; and the development and implementation of a regional child care action plan that addresses the needs and preferences of working families.

After the announcement, Coffia issued the following statement:

“Time and time again, I’ve heard from the parents of my district and how they struggle to access basic child care services — it can be an expense that is financially overwhelming for many Michiganders, especially within my community. Also, finding available child care centers, particularly in our community where there are limited options, is a major challenge itself. I have advocated for funding and support for Northwestern Michigan’s child care sector, and I celebrate these investments. I also acknowledge that a lot more must be done to help establish meaningful and long-lasting change. I will continue to work toward this goal — for families to have access to affordable quality child care and for our child care providers to be able to be financially viable as small businesses in my district.”