The state on Wednesday began accepting applications for nearly $200 million in grants being awarded to licensed child care providers to strengthen programming and lower costs for working families.
Michigan’s Child Care Stabilization Grant is available to support operational expenses of about 8,000 licensed centers, group homes, family homes and tribal child care providers. All eligible applicants for the non-competitive grant will receive funding. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 9.
“Parents rely on child care so they can go to work knowing that their kids are safe,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, adding in a Wednesday statement that the state budget is supporting the expansion of low- or no-cost child care to 150,000 more children and will help new providers open here.
“I urge providers to apply for the grant,” Whitmer said, “so they can continue serving their communities and helping young Michiganders thrive.”
This marks the third round of the grant program that also solicited applicants in the fall and spring. The state on Wednesday noted earlier grant allocations have gone to thousands of providers and resulted in bonuses for 38,000 child care professionals.
In the fall, 5,890 providers received grant funding. The average award was $108,685 for centers; $20,454 for group homes; and $10,763 for family homes. In the spring, 5,544 facilities received child care grants. The average awards for that round of the program was $120,697 for centers; $21,777 for group homes; and $11,394 for family homes, according to Whitmer’s office.
Cassandra Rice, owner and operator of Our Kidz World Learning Center in Detroit, said she’s passionate about early childhood care and understands the need and importance of providing it.
In Detroit, 96% of providers are women, and most are Black and Brown women, according to the community development financial institution IFF.
“The funding helps to provide the continuance of a high quality, safe, and healthy environment for children, families, and employees,” Rice said.
So far, $730 million in Child Care Stabilization Grants have been awarded to child care businesses in all of the state’s 83 counties.
The grants are part of a $1.4 billion investment to expand access to quality, affordable child care and help Michigan families get back to work. Child care is one of the top expenses for Michigan families and 40% of the state’s families with children under 12 are now eligible for free or low-cost child care.
To qualify, families must have a child under 13, need care because they are working or attending school, and a qualifying income of less than $36,620 for a family of two; $46,060 for a family of three; or $55,500 for a family of four.
The state’s child care grants are designed to help keep existing providers open, but Michigan also is working to recruit new child care entrepreneurs.
In May, Whitmer launched Caring for Mi Future – a $100 million strategy to open 1,000 new child care programs by the end of 2024.
Additional grants and technical assistance will be available to entrepreneurs this fall.