Michigan meets goal of increasing child care accessibility

By: Brendan Losinski | Metro | Published November 16, 2023

 The state of Michigan has opened more than 1,000 new childcare programs since 2022.

The state of Michigan has opened more than 1,000 new childcare programs since 2022.

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METRO DETROIT — On Nov. 15, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II announced that Michigan has surpassed its Caring for MI Future goal of opening 1,000 new child care programs a year earlier than expected by opening 1,089 child care programs since May 2022.  

Since the launch of Caring for MI Future, 1,089 new child care centers have opened, and 2,159 home-based providers have expanded their programs across Michigan. All together, these programs have added 36,783 new spots in child care facilities.

“Investing in high-quality, affordable child care empowers working Michigan families while keeping more money in their pockets,” Gilchrist said in a press release. “Thanks to child care entrepreneurs and the Caring for MI Future team, we achieved our goal to open 1,000 new child care programs a year earlier than expected, connecting more young children and families with the resources and tools they need to be successful. We’re not done. Demand for quality child care is still high, child care professionals need more support, and we will keep working hard to improve accessibility and affordability in every community.”

Caring for MI Future is a $100 million investment that was created to help more Michigan families find quality, affordable child care in their community by helping child care entrepreneurs open new or expand existing child care programs.

“I am proud of the tremendous work we’ve done in every corner of Michigan to help over 1,000 entrepreneurs realize their dream of starting their own child care business,” Emily Laidlaw, the director of Michigan’s Child Care Licensing Bureau, said in a press release. “Since launching Caring For MI Future, we’ve made investments in places we know child care entrepreneurs get stuck when opening their new business. We’ve done that through teaching, training, troubleshooting, and listening to child care professionals who’ve committed their lives to creating safe spaces for kids to learn and grow.”    

In May 2022, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Gilchrist set a goal to open 1,000 new child care programs by the end of 2024. The state has surpassed this goal by opening 1,089 child care programs a year earlier than expected. This strategy responds to the most pressing needs facing child care entrepreneurs and creates sustainable systems to support the current and next generation of child care business owners.

“Childcare is a critical need which supports our talented workforce delivering quality, compassionate healthcare to our patients,” Ben Frederick, the associate vice president of advocacy and government relations at Memorial Healthcare said in a press release. “Caring for MI Future was a tremendous help as we made the decision to tackle this problem head on and directly invest in expanded childcare access for families in our rural service region.  Their assistance allowed us to launch our new childcare academy which now serves both our employees and the wider community.  Because of great partners like Caring for MI Future, we boosted access to childcare by more than 40% in our local community.”