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State awards another $365 million to Michigan child care providers

gilchrist day care
Sarah Cwiek
/
Michigan Radio
Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, right, stands with Brainiacs Clubhouse owner Monique Snyder, left, and Hope Starts Here's Denise Smith.

Michigan is giving out a second round of Child Care Stabilization Grants to day care providers.

This round of grants comes from federal COVID relief funds and totals $365 million. Another $365 million was awarded in the fall to more than 5,800 providers.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist said Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is “laying a new floor” for early childhood education with “sustained investment." He said the COVID-19 pandemic has been an important lesson about how critical quality child care is.

“When there is not child care available — so when kids don't have a safe, affordable, reliable or convenient place to go — like, everything falls apart,” Gilchrist said. “Nothing works. So this is a foundational element of making sure that our communities are able to function, let alone thrive.”

Gilchrist said the grants are meant to be “flexible” for child care providers. They can be used for expansion, to freeze tuition, or cover basic costs. This round also includes a $1,000 bonus for all full-time child care workers.

One of the grant recipients is Monique Snyder, who runs Brainiacs Clubhouse on Detroit’s east side. Snyder said that during the COVID pandemic, she struggled to stay afloat, and that keeping and finding staff was a particular problem.

But now, she’s feeling more optimistic. I am definitely hopeful, and I feel a lot more confident that moving forward, [this] will be prioritized within the state of Michigan budget,” she said.

The Child Care Stabilization grants are non-competitive, meaning that every eligible child care provider that applies receives an award. Gilchrist said the goal is for all eligible providers in the state to apply.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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