A group of educational, political and business leaders have been meeting to come up with solutions for child care assistance in Michigan this year. Michigan currently offers less assistance for child care than almost any other state, according to Bridge Michigan.
According to Pat Sorenson, senior policy analyst for the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP), while there have been improvements, more work is needed in 2020.
“Michigan has taken small but important steps toward making high-quality child care more affordable and available for families with low wages,” she said. “However, additional federal and state investments will be needed to reach the end goal," she wrote on MLPP.org.
The cost of child care affects workers in the state because it isn't affordable for many Michigan residents.
According to the Michigan Cost of Childcare analysis by Child Care Aware, care for a single child in a day care center averaged $10,603 in 2019. That is almost as much as a public university education, averaging $12,935.
“Many Michigan parents want and need to work to support their children but cannot find or afford high-quality child care," Sorenson explained. “While child care providers are some of the lowest-paid workers in the state, the cost of care can exceed a family’s rent or monthly mortgage payment, and rivals the cost of sending a young person to college.”
In 2019 some steps were taken by legislators to improve access to affordable child care, including $30.4 million spent on Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) quality initiatives and $9.2 million on quality improvements to infant and toddler child care, according to Sorenson.
“To build a child care system that works for parents and provides children with an environment where they can learn and develop optimally, additional investments will be needed at the federal and state levels,” said Sorenson.