Gov. Whitmer Announces Regional Child Care Planning Grants to Help Expand Access to Affordable Child Care  


September 28, 2022 


LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that applications are now open for Regional Child Care Planning Grants from the Early Childhood Investment Corporation’s (ECIC) Child Care Innovation Fund. Regional coalitions can apply for up to $150,000 to develop a regional child care plan that meets the needs and preferences of working families, and address Michigan’s pressing need for more access to high-quality, affordable child care.  

Every family in Michigan deserves access to high-quality, affordable childcare,” said Governor Whitmer. “I recently announced the new Our Strong Start program to make it easier for entrepreneurs to open new child care programs because there are still too many working families struggling to find child care that meets their needs and budget. To solve child care challenges at scale, we need many more partners coming together to identify creative solutions. The Regional Child Care Planning Grants will support existing regional child care collaborations and encourage more communities to take a hard look at how to make childcare more accessible to Michiganders.” 

“As a parent, I know how critical it is to access high-quality, affordable childcare,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Regional Child Care Planning Grants will help local advocates, employers, parents, and leaders develop plans that start more child care businesses, support existing child cares, and lower costs for Michigan families. Governor Whitmer and I are committed to continuing our work to boost access to high-quality, affordable childcare in every Michigan community.” 

ECIC received $12.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding in August, awarded by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) as part of the Caring for MI Future initiative. Caring for MI Future is a $100 million investment that will help more Michigan families find quality, affordable childcare in their community by opening 1,000 new, or expanded, childcare programs by the end of 2024 

“Greater access to affordable child care is absolutely critical to creating economic impact and advancing our efforts to attract, retain and grow businesses and supporting vibrant communities across Michigan,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “We are pleased to work with our partners at the Michigan Department of Education and ECIC on this program, to continue building a holistic, people-first approach to economic development here in Michigan.”   

“For years, economists have reported a strong link between child care and state and local economic growth and development,” said Dawne Bell, CEO of the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. “Thanks to this investment from the Michigan Department of Education and this strategic partnership with MEDC, ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund will support regions across Michigan to accelerate investments in childcare, which are good for families, good for children, and good for local economies.”