LANSING, MI, May 31 —The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC), announces $1.2 million in grants from the second round of Child Care Innovation Awards, which will benefit 22 counties across Michigan. ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund is collaborating with regional and community partners to pilot and increase capacity for common-sense business and financing solutions for child care. With its partners, ECIC is creating a playbook of proven solutions, ready to make a difference in Michigan.
In March of 2022, ECIC issued a call for applications from communities seeking funding in one of the three following innovation opportunities:
1. Create synergy between the economic development and child care sectors.
2. Promote parental choice and empower working parents by expanding access to preschool options that best suit their families’ needs.
3. Improve wages, benefits, and on-the-job supports for early educators in group family homes or child care centers within a defined community or region.
11 grantees were awarded, ranging from $32,000 to $300,000 per community. Among those awarded are the Alliance for Economic Success, North Central Michigan College, Pulse at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, United Way of Northwest Michigan, Development Centers & Team of Local Child Care Providers, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Community Action South Central Michigan, Focus: HOPE, Kalamazoo Literacy Council, Northwest Education Services and Child Care Network. Their innovations will range from child care providers piloting a new service to transport children, age 0-5, to make access to child care more consistent and reliable, supporting child care business owners and operators to gain access to innovations and resources that could spur their business growth, and offering more opportunities for “earn-while-you-learn” training and credentialing for adults who wish to pursue a career in early care and education.
“We look forward to supporting these regional and community partners as they implement innovative child care solutions for working families, communities, early educators, and employers,” says Joan Blough, Senior Director of the Child Care Innovation Fund. “Increasing access to affordable, high-quality child care is essential to Michigan’s economic recovery and future growth.”