FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2022
Gov. Whitmer Delivers $1,000 Bonuses to Nearly 38,000 Childcare Professionals
5,500+ childcare providers receiving $368 million in grants to provide $1,000 staff bonuses and keep childcare facilities open for Michigan families
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer continued her commitment to expand access to quality, affordable childcare for Michigan families by awarding $368 million in grants to childcare programs across the state. Over 5,500 childcare programs received funding through the second round of the Child Care Stabilization Grant. These funds will keep programs open for business and provide $1,000 bonuses for full-time staff.
“Michigan thrives when every family has access to quality, affordable childcare that meets their needs,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I worked across the aisle to secure a historic investment in childcare—including grants to stabilize and strengthen the childcare industry and bonuses for childcare professionals. Thanks to the Child Care Stabilization Grant, over 5,500 childcare programs can keep their doors open, hire more qualified professionals, and continue to improve supports for kids and families. All our kids deserve a strong start. These grants are another investment in their future and our state’s prosperity.”
“As a father, I know the importance of having skilled, childcare professionals to care for our children. That’s why Governor Whitmer and I continue to fight to pay childcare professionals a living wage,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “These bonuses are a small step toward our bigger goals to improve compensation for childcare professionals and support childcare entrepreneurs—all while keeping care affordable for working families.”
These grants were part of a bipartisan budget Governor Whitmer signed that included game-changing investments in childcare and delivered on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to families, communities, and small businesses.
Grants were awarded to licensed centers, group homes, family homes, and tribal childcare providers. Funds may be used to lower tuition costs for families, increase compensation for early educators, recruit and train new staff members, improve learning environments, and more.
“The Child Care Stabilization Grants have uplifted the morale of the center. Staff and families are feeling heard and seen,” said Nawal Alsaeed, associate director of Kreative Kids Learning Center in Inkster. “Our staff is feeling recognized and validated and they are motivated to continue in the field of early childhood. Two staff members have gone back to school and are earning degrees in education. I have another two staff members who have registered for CDA credentials. These funds will be the catalyst to continued growth of child care businesses.”
“Thanks to this grant we were able to give our staff bonuses and upgrade our facility with an emphasis on safety and accessibility,” said Jeff and Yvette Fredricks, owners and operators of a group home in Saginaw. “We were also able to provide our families with peace of mind by providing relief in case of unexpected times and unforeseen circumstances by way of our ‘Parent Forgiveness Grant Fund’ — which helped families pay their tuition balance when times were tough.”
“I have been running a quality, caring, and loving in-home daycare for 26 years. I have been through many life challenges and changes through the years with some very hard moments. I have always kept my program going without taking sick days and rarely time off,” said Shari Marceau owner and operator of Shari’s Early Learning Center, a home-based childcare in Marquette. “I am extremely thankful for this money! I feel this is my first bonus in this career.”
“These grants have been a critical lifeline to providers who are fighting to stay in business and serve families and children throughout Michigan,” said Lisa Brewer Walraven, director of Child Development and Care in the Office of Great Start at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). “It has been our privilege to provide this ongoing support to the operational costs of childcare providers and ensure those who are working in the programs are supported and recognized for the important value of the work they do.”
The Child Care Stabilization Grant is a non-competitive grant for childcare programs to help stabilize operations and support the health and safety of children and staff. Eligible licensed childcare programs applied for funding in spring 2022.
Staff in the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Care worked diligently with the support of partners across the state to manage and process the grants to ensure that all eligible childcare providers were able to apply for and receive the funds as quickly as possible. Additional information about the program is available at Michigan.gov/childcare.