Child Care Innovation Fund Expands by $12.5 Million

LANSING, MI, August 10, 2022 —The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) received $12.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, awarded by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) through the Caring for MI Future initiative. Caring for MI Future is a $100 million investment that will help more Michigan families find quality, affordable child care in their community by opening 1,000 new, or expanded, child care programs by the end of 2024. 

Starting in the fall of 2022, ECIC will issue calls for applications from communities seeking funding in one of the three following innovation opportunities: 

  1. Regional planning grants that bring economic development and early childhood leaders together to accelerate community-level efforts to address Michigan’s child care crisis 
  2. Start-up and scale-up grants that that support communities to launch, replicate, or sustain early childhood apprenticeship models to address child care workforce challenges 
  3. Supply-building grants specifically for entrepreneurs that operate home-based child care programs to incubate and launch family child care networks 

 ECIC has formed strategic and uniquely qualified collaborative teams that it will continue to grow and develop, which will contribute to the larger Caring for MI Future initiative, and help build the supply of high-quality, affordable child care,” says Lisa Brewer-Walraven, Director of the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Care. “I’m confident these innovations will have tremendous long-lasting impact for families, for child care providers, and for communities.” 

 This award from the public sector expands ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund, first created in 2021 by seed funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to increase capacity for common-sense and financing solutions for child care. Since 2021, ECIC has awarded a total of 16 Child Care Innovation Fund competitive grants and awarded more than 30 Incubator grants to help communities across Michigan develop and accelerate solutions to the child care crisis. Through this expansion, ECIC anticipates awarding over 50 additional competitive grants, as well as offering additional Incubator grants. Grant applications are expected to open in the fall.  

 “Even pre-pandemic, Michigan’s supply of high-quality, affordable child care was insufficient to meet the needs of working families,” says Dawne Bell, CEO of the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. “When we first launched the Child Care Innovation Fund last year, the response was inspiring and record-setting. Communities across Michigan answered the call with ideas to reimagine child care. Now, through this investment and partnership with the MI Dept. of Education, ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund will expand capacity to capitalize on the momentum building across Michigan.”