Michigan groups rally for more investment in childcare

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Dozens of people from multiple organizations met that the capitol Wednesday to push lawmakers to make more investment in childcare.

Organizational leaders from Early Childhood Investment Corporation and Think Babies Michigan say Michigan parents face an abundance of issues. They cited issues such as “childcare deserts,” the cost of childcare and fair wages for childcare workers.

They say the level of state funding currently available for childcare is making the problems more difficult to solve.

They say addressing the childcare situation will help not only those who provide services in childcare but the workforce in general by allowing parents to focus on their jobs rather than forcing them into the decision between “making a living” and taking care of their children.

“It’s affecting all families,” says Rachell McKissick-Harris, a leader with Think Babies Michigan. “It’s not just low-income families. It’s our middle-wage families who are all struggling with the cost of childcare. There’s 72,000 children who will lose care within this year because childcare centers can’t remain open, because they can’t obtain and retain staff.”

Advocates are also pushing for funding towards “paid family leave.” They said 59,000 parents in Michigan reported quitting a job or not accepting a job because of concerns related to childcare.

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