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child care

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer outlined economic recovery plans Thursday that include state support for wage hikes and child care.

The plan would use federal dollars to help businesses boost pay rates to $15 an hour for three months to help businesses attract workers. But business owners would have to promise to continue that pay rate for an additional three months.

Angelique Speight-Marshall has come up with an ingenious idea to help the toddlers she looks after practice social distancing: She gave each of them a walkie-talkie. The kids squeal with delight as they run as far away from each other as possible, to talk.

"You have to think outside the box," Speight-Marshall says, "because the pandemic is changing the way health and safety practices have been used over the years."

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Today on Stateside, Michigan’s political world got baked into an upside down cake on Thursday as former Republican Governor Rick Snyder endorsed Joe Biden, and Democrat Mark Hackel threw his support behind a push to limit Governor Whitmer’s emergency powers. We'll talk to a reporter covering the party-flipping endorsements. Plus, we hear from a Detroit child care provider who is feeling the financial pressure as the pandemic continues and parents remain at home. 

Adobe Stock

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is extending the mask requirement to include children as young as two years old in some cases, after several coronavirus outbreaks linked to childcare centers and youth camps.

Gov. Whitmer says by requiring face coverings in her latest executive order, childcare centers and camps can remain open while keeping children and staff members safe.

couple walking on a sidewalk
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Child care businesses in Michigan are still shut down as part of Governor Whitmer's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" executive order, except for those caring for children of essential workers. 

Rebooting this industry will be essential for the recovery of the state’s economy.  But child care administrators say it will likely be a painfully slow process, and require the creation of a “new normal,” for kids, parents, and workers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan has set aside $130 million from its federal CARES Act funding to help child care businesses - both those that have remained open to care for the children of essential workers, and those that have been forced to close due to the state's stay at home order.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report suggests restarting Michigan’s economy will face a serious roadblock – a lack of child care.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children estimates that 41% of Michigan’s licensed child care slots will be lost as many providers don’t have the money or staff to reopen.

U.S. Army / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

There is a child care shortage. That’s not going to be a surprise to many families, especially those in rural areas.

In a recent Dome Magazine article, Ken Winter outlined the problem in northern Michigan. It’s bad enough that the chambers of commerce in the region are making it a priority issue.

Report reveals Michigan lags behind in child well-being

Jun 13, 2017
Brian Hart / Flickr

The 2017 Kids Count Data Book reveals that Michigan lags behind in nearly every aspect of child well-being. The report lists Michigan at 32nd among states for overall child well-being.

The report looks at health, education, economic well-being and family and community as part of a national effort to improve conditions for children and their families.

Groceries, including milk, eggs and produce, sitting on a counter.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

"Making Ends Meet" is a new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy that reveals the average cost of living throughout Michigan.

In its seventh annual report, the policy organization analyzed housing data, child care costs, food expenses, health care costs, and other necessities to calculate a “basic needs income level.”

U.S. Army / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Any parent can tell you that child care is one of the biggest challenges a family can face. A new report finds that Michigan can do better in helping families who need day care. A LOT better. 

Michigan's missed out on tens of millions of federal dollars that could help more parents and kids access quality child care. In fact, if state lawmakers don't commit another $7.5 million to child care by the end of this month, Michigan will lose $20.5 million in matching federal funds.

Report reveals child care gaps in Michigan

Sep 16, 2016
United States Department of Education / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

State lawmakers need to spend more to make child care in Michigan affordable and high-quality. That’s the message in a report prepared for the state Department of Education.

Michigan helps working families with child care through the Child Development and Care program. But the report says the program and all childcare need to improve in five key areas:

Pre school classroom
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For working parents with young children, child care is not a luxury. It's a necessity. But for many low-income families in Michigan, it's out of reach.

Consider this: it costs around $10,000 a year to send a toddler to high-quality child care.

That is almost as much as it costs to send a kid to college at a public university.

Nate Grigg / Flickr

The state needs to do more to protect kids in child care. That’s according to a new policy brief from the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The document says the state would need to hire 140 additional child care facility inspectors to the 70 now working to make caseloads manageable.

Michigan is a disgrace when it comes to child care

Sep 23, 2014

Yesterday, the Michigan League for Public Policy held a press conference to announce that our state is a disgrace when it comes to child care.

They didn’t say it that way, but I will.

What the nonpartisan league actually said was:

“Michigan’s child care program falls far short in ensuring high-quality child care.”

We are living in an age when more parents than ever need to work, and our politicians demand they work. And we are making it harder and harder for them to do so.

Over the last 10 years, Michigan has cut 70% of the funding for subsidized child care.

Back in 2005, before the Great Recession, 65,000 low-income parents got child care help from the state so that they could keep working.

Many more are in trouble now, but we only help a third as many.

Forget human compassion; from purely a business standpoint, this makes no sense.

To quote the league:

“Access to safe, stable and high-quality child care reduces employee absenteeism and turnover and improves businesses’ bottom line.”

Michigan State University

It's called "Kinship Care."

It means relatives stepping in to raise a child, and it happens for many reasons.

Whether it's parents being deployed to combat in the Middle East, physical or mental illness, or incarceration, all over the country, grandparents or other relatives are being called on to raise a child. Today, more than 4.9 million children are living in grandparent-headed households.

EPI

That's the estimate for a family made up of two parents and two kids.

The numbers are calculated by the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank based in Washington D.C.

You can look up your specific living situation with their updated "Family Budget Calculator."

EPI says the calculator estimates the annual income a family needs for a "secure yet modest living standard."

It estimates expenses related to housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, other necessities, and taxes. And by their calculations, families at the poverty level set by the federal government are nowhere near the EPI's "getting by" threshold.

The budgets, updated for 2013, are calculated for 615 U.S. communities and six family types (either one or two parents with one, two, or three children)...EPI’s family budgets offer a higher degree of geographic customization and provide a more accurate measure of economic security. In all cases, they show families need more than twice the amount of the federal poverty line to get by.

Of the 20 areas the EPI examined in Michigan, the Ann Arbor area came out on top as the most expensive place to live.  Rural Michigan was the least expensive.

Here's a look at the Michigan areas EPI put into their calculator, from most expensive to least expensive (for two-parent, two-child families):

Dustin Dwyer

We think of scholarships as a way to help more students go to college. But there’s a new scholarship program in Michigan that has nothing to do with college. It offers scholarships to babies.

If you have a baby and you want to have a job, or you need to have a job, you have to find childcare. And childcare costs money—thousands of dollars a year.

Dustin Dwyer

 About 200 Michiganders will benefit from a new scholarship program announced today. 

But if you want to be one of the lucky recipients, there's a catch: you can't be any older than two. 

The state's Early Childhood Investment Corporation announced today that it's partnering with the Women's Caring Program on a new $700,000 program to help low income families afford child care.