Child Care Innovation Fund – Priorities

Child Care Innovation Fund

Our Priorities

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Create synergy between the economic and child care sectors

Advance child care as essential community infrastructure for economic growth and school readiness.

Why is this Priority important?

  • Childcare is a two-generation workforce issue; today’s early childhood education is essential to developing the workforce of tomorrow.
  • Child care businesses are often overlooked as a part of the business community and as an economic asset for the community and region.
  • Because issues facing the child care sector have not been framed as market failures, economic development solutions have been limited.
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Improve compensation and on-the-job supports

Improve the wages, benefits, and support of early educators.

Why is this Priority important?

  • Early educators are among the lowest-paid workers in every state.
  • Current policies don’t place sufficient value on the knowledge and competencies required of early educators.
  • African American educators earn an average of $0.78 less per hour than white early educators, which means $1,622.40 less per year for a full-time, full-year worker.
  • Qualified early educators could benefit from a competency-focused career pathway.
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Build supply

Accelerate the start-up and expansion of licensed child care businesses, especially in areas of high need.

Why is this Priority important?

  • Michigan currently lacks the quantity of infant and toddler care needed to meet the demand of children ages 0-5 and their families.
  • There is insufficient access to funding and navigation consultation for prospective licensed child care businesses.
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Collaborate with employers

Work with employers to improve the productivity, recruitment, and retention of their working families.

Why is this Priority important?

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Strengthen child care businesses

Increase the economic viability and sustainability of child care businesses.

Why is this Priority important?

  • While essential, child care businesses still operate on tight margins with low profitability. Therefore, they experience high staff turnover and barriers to accessing credit.
  • Home-based child care businesses have limited or no infrastructure to support their specific needs.
  • Rural child care providers have unique needs that are neglected by current policies and structures.