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Report: Finding child care an obstacle for restarting Michigan economy

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A new report suggests restarting Michigan’s economy will face a serious roadblock – a lack of child care.

TheNational Association for the Education of Young Children estimates that 41% of Michigan’s licensed child care slots will be lost as many providers don’t have the money or staffto reopen.

Simon Workman is the director of Early Childhood Policy at theCenter for American Progress.

He says many child care operators were barely breaking even before the pandemic.

“The idea of doing that with even less revenue after this...just too many providers will have to close their doors because they just won’t be able to afford to do it,” Workman said.

Workman says going forward there will be about one child care slot for every four children in need in Michigan.

He says to meet the need for child care the federal government needs to make a long-term investment in child care workers and infrastructure.

Congress provided $3.5 billion in emergency funding to child care block grant programs in the CARES Act.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed spending $50 billion to bailout the child care industry.

“We have only two options as a country: we can either do what is needed to stabilize the child care system, or we can watch child care providers collapse, one by one in our communities, leaving families with fewer options and hamstringing our economic recovery,” Warren wrote in an op-ed earlier this month.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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