The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) received $12.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, awarded by the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP) 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 child care in their community by opening 1,000 new, or expanded, child care programs by the end of 2024.
ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund supports grantees’ projects within the following innovation types:
- Regional planning opportunities bring economic development and early childhood leaders together to accelerate community-level efforts to address Michigan’s child care crisis
- Start-up and scale-up funding to support communities to launch, replicate, or sustain early care and education apprenticeship models to address child care workforce challenges
- Supply-building opportunities specifically for entrepreneurs that operate home-based child care programs to incubate and launch family child care networks .
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Family Child Care Networks
In recognition of the critical need to both stabilize and expand access to high quality family child care, ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund is offering specific resources – through this Caring for MI Future grant opportunity – to establish staffed family child care networks in all four ECSN regions. A family child care network is an interconnected group of providers and families that comes together to enhance supports for home-based child care, including quality, access to services, and sustainability.
This funding opportunity supports grantees partnering with ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund to:
- Connect and support home-based child care programs in the delivery of essential services to improve program quality and strengthen home-based child care.
- Build the capacity of one or more family child care networks to support home-based child care providers through technical assistance, educational and engagement opportunities with decision-makers and policymakers, and connections to additional local and state resources.
- Improve the policy, economic, and regulatory environments for home-based child care in MI.
Early Care and Education Registered Apprenticeships
Through ECIC, the state learned new information about how apprenticeships registered by the US Department of Labor (USDOL) are implemented and about what types of funding might be available to Michigan in the future. Keeping in mind that our primary goals are increasing workforce capacity and creating a sustainable model, MiLEAP has had to slow down and make intentional, strategic decisions for the work going forward.
Lessons Learned about Registered Apprenticeships:
• The USDOL registration process for sponsorship organizations can take up to 3 -18 months
• Several other states, including PA, VA and WV, have expanded local apprenticeship access while limiting or consolidating the number of sponsoring organizations to maximize funding available for local communities
• Throughout Michigan, local MI Works organizations can serve as a USDOL registered apprenticeship sponsor for many high demand occupations; their resources and expertise in apprenticeship expansion are vital for accelerating and sustaining early care and education registered apprenticeship programs.
Using these lessons learned, ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund has partnered with MI Works! organizations across the state and other organizations who will act as sponsoring organizations for early child care education registered apprenticeships.
Apprenticeship Roundtable Resources:
Thank you to each of the Sponsoring Agency and State Partner panelists who shared their experiences and presented valuable information at our Apprenticeship Roundtable on May 23, 2023. During this webinar, the Child Care Innovation Fund shared findings and recommendations from the Early Care and Education Registered Apprenticeships in Michigan report published in April of 2023. The Innovation Fund collaborated with early care and education sponsoring agency representatives and key state partners to provide updates on where early care and education registered apprenticeships will fall on the Miregistry career pathway, discuss and provide updates about the state’s responses to CDA challenges being experienced by early educators and their employers, and to hold discussion around what the current apprenticeship sponsoring agencies are learning. We also extend our gratitude to the attendees who offered insightful and thoughtful questions throughout the webinar, which supports our future focus and development of this important, innovative workforce strategy.
Regional Child Care Planning
In partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Policy Equity Group, ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund is supporting Regional Child Care Planning Coalitions to develop Regional Child Care Plans that meet the needs and preferences of working families and address Michigan’s current child care crisis.
See the full list of Caring for MI Future Regional Child Care Planning Grant recipients here.
Read Governor Whitmer’s statement here.
These projects are supported by funding provided from the Michigan Department of Education utilizing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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