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Contact: Alex Rossman

Lawmakers have 16 days—and three session days—to act before $20M in federal child care dollars disappears

LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy continued its push for greater investment in child care, issuing the following statement on a new research report released today by the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Great Start and Public Sector Consultants, Inc. The statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

“This report was commissioned by state government, and hopefully that means its findings will light a fire under state policymakers. Lawmakers need to start by immediately acting to keep the $20 million in federal funding set to vanish in September because of a failure to invest sufficient state dollars. And then they need to look at how we can have a child care system where struggling families are receiving little to no help and child care workers are on public assistance while parents are paying college-level child care costs.

“Child care affects kids and parents alike, our family lives and our work lives, and it has been a top priority in both our Kids Count work and our budget and tax policy efforts. We believe this report will help set a vision for child care in Michigan and hope that policymakers, employers and parents will support the expansions needed to keep Michigan’s economy growing and provide economic opportunity and stability for all families with young children.”

According to the League’s Kids Count in Michigan Data Book 2016, nearly 1 in every 4 children in Michigan live in poverty (22.6 percent) and child poverty increased in 80 of 83 counties from 2006 to 2014. The Kids Count research also found that 67 percent of young children (ages 0-5) had both parents in the workforce, and on average, monthly child care consumed almost 40 percent of 2015 minimum wage earnings.

Other League research has found that most child care providers are very low-wage workers, and many qualify for public assistance themselves, the cost of child care often far exceeds the means of low- and even moderate-wage workers. The cost of child care for two children in a high-quality center in Michigan exceeds the average mortgage and cost of college tuition.

Child care has been a prominent focus of the League’s policy work, with analyses in the following briefs and reports:

Press statement on jeopardized federal funding: 2017 budget includes big victories and missed opportunities
2017 Budget Brief: The 2017 state budget fails to protect all children and families and perpetuates economic disparities
2017 Budget Brief: Michigan needs to expand child care support to keep families working
2014 Report: Failure to invest in high-quality child care hurts children and state’s economy


The Michigan League for Public Policy,, 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.


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