Michigan 2021 Accomplishments Early Learning & Childcare

LANSING, MI (STL.News) Governor Whitmer-Gilchrist administration is counting down the last 10 days of 2021 by celebrating Michigan’s progress on 10 fundamental kitchen-table issues.  Today we celebrate progress Michigan has made on early learning and childcare.

“Every family in Michigan deserves access to safe, quality, affordable childcare that meets their needs,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.  “Through the pandemic, few felt the strain more than Michigan’s working families who juggled work and childcare amidst unprecedented circumstances.  When we put our kids first, we can deliver meaningful change that makes a difference in their lives and help families get back to work.  I am proud of the historic investments we have made to expand access to low- or no-cost childcare and free preschool in the latest state budget and I look forward to more progress.”

Getting Things Done

Governor Whitmer has continued to put families and children first by prioritizing investments in our children’s earliest years.  She has expanded programs and made key investments to give every child in Michigan access to high-quality, affordable childcare and early learning opportunities.  These actions put children on a path to success and strengthen our economy by helping parents return to work knowing their children are safe and learning.

Key Numbers

  • Signed a record $1.4 billion in childcare funding, expanding access to high-quality, affordable childcare-including $700 million in stabilization grants for childcare businesses.
  • Delivered $1,000 bonuses to childcare professionals.
  • Expanded access to free preschool for 22,000 more four-year olds through the high-quality, homegrown Great Start Readiness Program.
  • Created access to affordable childcare for 112,000 more children and their families.  Families of four earning up $49,000 are now eligible for free or low-cost childcare under new criteria, boosting Michigan’s economic momentum by helping parents go back to work knowing that their kids are cared for.
  • Invested $215 million to support over 7,000 childcare providers with emergency federal relief through the Child Care Relief Fund.
  • Signed a budget providing an additional $105 million in funding for childcare businesses that accept the childcare subsidy.
  • Launched the Mi Tri-share Child Care Pilot, an innovative public-private partnership that shares the cost of child care between the state, employers, and employees in five regions

Looking Ahead

  • Governor Whitmer knows a child’s earliest years are critical and the administration will continue delivering on big investments in our littlest Michiganders.
  • She strives to connect all families with quality, affordable early learning opportunities that meet their needs, including childcare, home visiting, and preschool.
  • To reach every child, she knows we need skilled early educators, and she continues to fight for competitive wages and education opportunities for childcare professionals.
  • Additional early learning and childcare accomplishments can be found here.