Michigan’s Early Childhood True Cost Report

Michiganders know all too well that Michigan’s child care and home visiting programs are struggling with high demand, workforce shortages, and a lack of investment. As a result, many families across the state are finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable, high quality child care, with many working families paying more for care than their housing costs. Additionally, access to evidence-based home visiting programs varies dramatically across the state and from one zip code to the next.

The Think Babies Michigan coalition has partnered with the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a comprehensive review of the true costs of early childhood programs and services in the state. Michigan’s Early Childhood True Cost Report: Fully funding child care, early intervention, and home visiting services is now available at www.ThinkBabiesMI.org.

The report includes comprehensive fiscal mapping, cost modeling, and a list of key recommendations tied to fully investing to ensure Michigan’s early childhood systems meet the diverse needs of Michigan families. The True Cost Report outlines the real costs, such as:

  • Providing high quality care for an infant in Michigan is $26,000 a year; more than twice the current state subsidy rate.
  • The requirement for increased, sustainable investment in the state’s early childhood workforce to support long-term career opportunities that provide living wage compensation
  • The need for developing the long-term strategies and investment needed to ensure all Michigan families have equitable access to the early childhood programs and services that they need.

Stay tuned for two supplemental reports on the cost of care in Detroit, conducted in partnership with Hope Starts Here Detroit, and the cost of Michigan’s Early On program reports that will be available at thinkbabiesmi.org.