Michigan’s Future at Stake: Subcommittee’s Budget Plan Raises Concerns for Families and Communities

Michigan’s Future at Stake: Subcommittee’s Budget Plan Raises Concerns for Families and Communities
Joint Statement on Proposed House budget proposal will significantly harm Michigan’s already stressed early care and learning system

LANSING, MI, April 26, 2024 — As leaders and parents within Michigan’s early childhood community, we must call out the devastating impact that the unprecedented changes proposed by the Michigan House School Aid and Education Appropriations Subcommittee will have on Michigan’s already struggling working families, businesses, and our state economy.

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee released a budget that eliminates the requirement for Intermediate School Districts to partner with community-based child care providers to provide pre-kindergarten programs to Michigan families. This requirement has been in place for well over a decade. In addition, the budget proposal explicitly prohibits funding required for Pre-K expansion and new classrooms from going to community-based providers and dedicates the funding exclusively to school-based classrooms. Finally, the proposal removes Governor Whitmer’s executive budget proposal that would provide the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential (MiLEAP) the necessary flexibilities to implement the Pre-K for All Roadmap for Michigan four-year-olds.

These proposals are contrary to the vision announced by Governor Whitmer’s Pre-K for All Roadmap that was created in partnership with Michigan families, Intermediate School Districts, educators and providers, and businesses from across the state.

The budget recommendations will make it more difficult for Michigan working families, especially families of color who struggle the most to access affordable and flexible high-quality care and Pre-K for their children. In addition, the exclusion of nonprofit, Head Start, and child care providers from Michigan’s GSRP Pre-K program, will cause irreparable harm to small businesses and organizations that are often operated by women, especially women of color.

We are hopeful that lawmakers will continue to work alongside early childhood leaders and center the needs of Michigan’s families in the state budget. If the legislature adopts these budget recommendations, Michigan will follow the path of other states that inadvertently and unintentionally decimated their early care and education systems as they implemented Pre-K for All.

“My four-year-old is in a joint Head Start/GSRP classroom in a community-based child care program. It has been such a wonderful place for him to learn and grow! We wanted him in an early care and learning setting with staff who would teach him, but also nurture him. Four-year-olds are so young. Not all of them belong in institutional, school settings.”
-Chrissy Vines, Parent Leader, Muskegon County, Think Babies Michigan

“School-based programs cannot meet the needs of all families. As a former early educator, I found that the best early education setting for my children was with community-based child care providers. My 6-year-old son attends preschool and GSRP with a community-based organization and my 2-year-old is currently with a licensed home-based provider that offers flexible hours. Schools cannot offer that.”
-Rachelle McKissick-Harris, Parent Leader, Kent County, Think Babies Michigan

“The Senate and House budgets both include language that would be crippling to community-based child care organizations. As a small childcare owner myself, I fear the implications that this could have on my program and others across the state. Childcare businesses are not designed to turn a profit. We are in existence to support children in our community and families. Negatively impacting community-based organizations would mean less spots available for infant and toddler care for working parents. The Pre-K for All roadmap lays out a clear path to include existing programs in the plan so that all children can be supported.”
-Kirsten Charnesky, Somerset Academy, Oakland County

“Michigan is struggling with a child care crisis. This proposal will limit access, diminish quality, and make the crisis worse.”
-Kevin Stotts, President, Talent First

“We are concerned about the most recent budget proposal released and the potential irreplaceable consequences on the current mixed delivery system for Michigan. To successfully implement the Governor’s Pre-K for All Roadmap, it is critical that we include all early care and education programs, so families continue to have choice and opportunities for high quality care and education for their children.”
-Erica Willard, Executive Director, Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children

“Michigan continues to fall behind as other states prioritize support for and investments in their child care systems for children of all ages. This proposal from the House School Aid Subcommittee not only fails to do that, but could have a detrimental impact on child care providers in our state. It’s imperative that we make strides in supporting the child care system in its entirety as we move toward universal Pre-K opportunities for our 4-year-olds.”
-Matt Gillard, President and CEO, Michigan’s Children

“We are deeply committed to the well-being of young children and families. We cannot understate the gravity of the House School Aid Subcommittee’s proposed changes and the impact they will have on Michigan’s existing child care crisis. We must continue to center the voices of families and communities to ensure Michigan’s early care and education system meets their needs in caring for infants and toddlers through Pre-K.”
-Alicia Guevara Warren, CEO, Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC)


Created in 2005 to serve as a statewide leader in early childhood, ECIC collaborates to increase public and private investment in the earliest years of children’s lives, while elevating issues affecting young children and their families, to continuously improve Michigan’s comprehensive early childhood system. Our vision is to create a future where all young children in Michigan and their families thrive. 

Take Action: Join ECIC and partner organizations in urging lawmakers to create a strong mixed-delivery early care and learning system that includes community-based organizations as part of PreK for All in Michigan. https://bit.ly/TBMIFY25budget

Learn more about the budget proposal’s impact.