State Rep. Rodney Wakeman of Saginaw Township, chair of the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee, this week announced a comprehensive plan aimed at improving access to high-quality, affordable childcare for Michigan families.
Wakeman joined state legislators, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and several child-care industry and regional business leaders to unveil the bipartisan proposal. The legislation will continue to prioritize high-quality care for families to ensure children are safe, while also providing much-needed flexibility to better support providers who depend on adequate resources to deliver reliable, effective care.
“I hear often from local families about how difficult it can be to find child care they can afford and trust with their children,” Wakeman said. “I’m working hard to find solutions that remove the bureaucratic red tape that has driven so many providers out of the industry over the last decade. Creating an environment where quality child-care providers can thrive will give working families more reliable options to choose from when it comes time to find care for their kids.”
Wakeman’s office said 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.
The proposed plan includes regulatory reforms that Wakeman’s office said will:
- 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.
- Offer enhanced reporting requirements and more concise regulation to let high-quality providers thrive while bad actors are held accountable.
The bills were expected to be introduced this week.