Low-income parents would get help affording child care under a package of bills sponsored, in part, by state Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-Meridian Township). Senate Bills 229-233, which would improve and expand child care programs, and capture federal dollars that are available to the State of Michigan under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014.
According to a report by New America, child care costs are now more expensive than in-state public college tuition. In Michigan, the average cost for child care is an astronomical $13,898, or 27 percent, of the combined income for two parents. Adding to these skyrocketing costs has been a significant decrease — by 70 percent between 2005 and 2014 — in state financing for child care reimbursements.
While state funding for child care has declined across the board, a recent report published by the Michigan League for Public Policy found that child poverty rates have increased in 80 of 83 counties in Michigan since 2006. Parents are being forced to decide between paying for high-quality child care that boosts future educational performance, or finding cheap, unlicensed child care that fits within their budget. …
Sen. Hertel’s bill, SB 231, would reimburse child care providers on a weekly — not hourly — basis, and streamline a complicated reimbursement program to cut costs.
“Child care providers are facing mounting financial uncertainties as they seek to provide the highest quality of care for our children, which are being transferred to families in the form of inflated child care costs,” Sen. Hertel said. “Simplifying the reimbursement system is a change that will make the system more efficient.”