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Stateside Podcast: The child care crisis is getting worse

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As of September 30, federal pandemic relief funds will no longer be provided to child care centers. This funding cliff is projected to create major issues for Michigan child care providers and families.

With this money, the state of Michigan provided grants to child care centers — allowing them to substantially increase staff wages and stay afloat during the pandemic. As the Build Back Better Plan does not include funding for child care and early education, child care centers across the state — specifically centers with a high percentage of children who receive subsidies — are under pressure to find other ways to continue operating.

Moving forward, child care providers are asking for a supplemental bill, which would allow subsidized clients to continue to receive child care and help providers pay their employees sustainable, livable wages. Without additional funding, both of the providers we spoke with predicted increased financial stress on families and staffing shortages.


  • Jennifer Brookland, reporter covering the welfare of children in Michigan for the Detroit Free Press in partnership with Report for America
  • Nina Hodge, owner of Above and Beyond Learning Child Care Center in Detroit
  • Anna Fryer, owner of Teddy Bear Daycare & Preschool LLC

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Rachel Ishikawa joined Michigan Public in 2020 as a podcast producer. She produced Kids These Days, a limited-run series that launched in the summer of 2020.
Olivia Mouradian recently graduated from the University of Michigan and joined the Stateside team as an intern in May 2023.