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Politics & Government

Childcare workers in Michigan eligible to receive up to $1,000 bonuses

three children sit out of focus in the background on a carpet printed with a road pattern. Two blue toy cars are in focus in the foreground.
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Michigan was awarded $700 million through the federal American Rescue Plan to provide financial assistance for child care providers. The state also received $30 million for bonus pay for childcare professionals.

Childcare providers in Michigan can apply for up to $1,000 bonuses for their staff until December 8 through the state’s Child Care Stabilization Grant.

To receive funds, childcare providers must apply and report the number of full-time and part-time staff. Full-time staff are eligible to receive $1,000, while part-time staff can receive $500.

Grants will be released beginning the week of January 10. Eligible providers include licensed child care centers, licensed family homes and group homes, tribal-based child care and Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) programs that also provide tuition-based child care.

To receive funding, the state said providers must:

  • Submit a complete application
  • Provide the bonus pay to staff
  • Implement COVID protocols aligned with the CDC and child care licensing 
  • Maintain staff wages and benefits 
  • Provide tuition relief to the extent possible
  • Submit required reports
  • Be open to provide child care services on the date of application or temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant is non-competitive, meaning every eligible child care provider that applies will receive a grant award.
LaTonya Glover is a board member for the Childcare Providers Association of Michigan and owner of Bright Beginnings Child Care in Detroit. She said that while she appreciates the bonuses, she wants long-term stabilization from the state for childcare providers.

"The bonus is great but it's definitely not going to equate to a long-term living wage for our staff members,” she said.

Glover said non-childcare businesses nearby can often pay employees more. It’s difficult, she said, to acquire new staff and is concerned about maintaining current staff in the long-term.

The base award is based on licensed capacity and provider type. Additional payments will be awarded based on additional criteria including for some who provide care to infants and toddlers, child care subsidy children, children with special needs or who provide care during non-traditional hours.

The grants would total $350 million according to a press release from the governor’s office. Michigan was awarded $700 million through the federal American Rescue Plan to provide financial assistance for child care providers. The state also received $30 million for bonus pay for childcare professionals.

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