The package contains minor procedural fixes and major changes in how the state supports small, home-based providers.
Even as Michigan’s state revenues reach record highs, officials appear poised to let the program expire.
Skeptics worry Duggan’s plan could add complexity to an already confusing system
The state plans to invest in child care buildings, educator training, and startup grants.
Staff shortages are overwhelming the system. One center has 258 families on a waiting list.
Michigan has a financial cushion thanks to federal stimulus funds and stronger-than-expected state revenues. But education spending is a sticking point.
Education advocates say that high-quality, intensive early education has a lasting positive impact on a child’s life, strengthening their performance in school and reducing odds that they will struggle with substance abuse
The Marygrove Early Childhood Education Center in Detroit is one of the major initiatives of the Hope Starts Here effort that seeks to provide quality options for young children.
Advocates warn that the child care sector could be disrupted unless more community-based providers are included.
The $105 million payout comes from federal funds that weren’t spent because of COVID
$1.4 billion in federal child care aid is still in limbo after state passes historic education budget deal
“You had older staff that wouldn’t even go to church,” she said. “I’m not going to make them come in.”
It remains to be seen if the Republican-controlled legislature will go along with the plan.
Mayor Mike Duggan has been unequivocal: He has secured GOP support for free preschool for ever 4-year-old in Detroit by this fall. Republicans in Lansing aren’t so sure.
We spoke with Smith about the biggest challenges facing early education in Detroit, and about what it will take to overcome them.
“Sometimes cities expand access without thinking about quality,” she said.
Mayor Mike Duggan said Detroit expects to have universal preschool for four-year-olds Friday during an event to celebrate the work of the Hope Starts initiative.
“The fact that 28,000 Detroit children lack access to quality child care is just one measure of how far we have to go,” Smith said in a statement.
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