For Immediate Release
April 29, 2020
$130M Child Care Relief Fund rightfully recognizes child care as a key ingredient to reopening and sustaining economy
LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement today of the creation of the Child Care Relief Fund. The fund is a grant program that helps child care providers in Michigan cover costs, stay in business and make child care more affordable during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The statement can be attributed to League President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.
“At the League, we have long advocated for affordable, high-quality child care as an essential work support that benefits kids, working families and businesses. That’s even truer today, as the COVID-19 crisis has heightened our awareness of the importance of child care providers to the state’s economy. But this crisis has also unfortunately revealed the fragility of the child care system, where care is both too costly for parents and child care providers—who are operating on razor-thin margins—are some of the lowest paid workers in the state.
“As the governor and state officials work to thoughtfully and carefully reopen our economy, they know that this cannot be done effectively if Michiganders can’t find the child care they need to go back to work. The Child Care Relief Fund announced by Gov. Whitmer today is a critical infusion of resources into the state’s child care system at a time of great disruption, helping child care providers’ bottom line now and in the future while ensuring fair wages for child care workers and affordable, quality care for families. With broad eligibility for these grants, we appreciate the governor’s support of all child care providers and the choices parents make—by investing in child care center, homes, tribal providers and family/friends/neighbors who provide child care.
“But this should be the beginning, not the end, of investments in a child care system that was struggling before this public health emergency. Michigan workers and businesses have a tough road ahead, as do state policymakers. But with a clearer picture than ever of the importance of child care and an influx of billions of dollars in federal money, we need to make sure the needs of kids and working parents, especially those with lower incomes, remain paramount.”
BACKGROUND: The League has created a series of policy briefs on the COVID-19 outbreak to inform lawmakers’ public policy decisions now and down the road, including one focused on child care. The League continues to advocate for Michiganders of color and residents with lower incomes who stand to be impacted the most by COVID-19 and the economic fallout that follows, as well as the vital safety net programs like unemployment and food assistance that are crucial during this crisis. The League’s fiscal expertise is also valuable right now to help analyze and advocate for sound state and federal budget decisions, both as state revenues decline and billions of dollars in federal aid come through the Michigan Legislature.
The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.