The Michigan Senate this week approved a bipartisan proposal Rep. Rodney Wakeman helped sponsor to improve access to affordable child care in Michigan.
Wakeman, who chairs the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee, said the measures provide the flexibility needed to help providers start – and stay in – business while continuing to prioritize the safety of Michigan children.
“Access to affordable and reliable child care is a barrier that forces far too many new parents to make the tough decision not to return to the workforce,” said Wakeman, of Frankenmuth. “Our goal is to create an environment where child-care facilities and in-home providers can thrive – so parents can find care for their kids nearby that they can trust and afford.”
State research has shown that 75 percent of children in Michigan live in areas with limited access to child care. In addition, 10 Michigan counties do not currently have licensed slots at centers that serve children younger than 30 months.
A 2019 report by the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance detailed the key factors that have led to the decreasing number of in-home providers across the country, finding an extensive number of regulations, start-up and operational expenses, and low compensation rates for providers to be the main barriers.
House Bills 5041-48 include common-sense regulatory reforms that will:
- Offer enhanced reporting and more concise regulation to let high-quality providers thrive while bad actors are held accountable.
- Expand access in areas where families live and work by offering a safe path for providers to utilize multi-use buildings.
- Help parents access health and safety information by allowing providers to share certain records online.
The plan will soon advance to the governor’s desk for consideration as a new state law.
State Rep. Rodney Wakeman this morning voted for a state budget plan that prioritizes the everyday needs of students, families and communities while leaving room for billions of dollars in potential tax relief to help address inflation.