Event | Event | April 15, 2021

Speakers Join Panel Discussion About the Child Care Crisis in Michigan

A law enforcement officer, business leader, child care provider, and lawmaker discuss how the child care crisis impacts Michigan’s economy, safety, and overall prosperity

Yesterday, ReadyNation held a virtual panel discussion to release a new brief entitled, “Want to Strengthen Michigan’s Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis.” The brief highlights how the growing infant-and-toddler child care crisis is affecting Michigan’s economy, families, and safety.

The virtual event included the following speakers: Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member Sheriff Mike Murphy, Livingston County Sheriff and President of Michigan Sheriff’s Association; ReadyNation member Carl Camden, Former President & CEO of Kelly Services, Current President at IPSE; LaShawn Bridges, owner of Blessed Beginnings Child Care Center; and Representative Greg VanWoerkom. The panelists provided their professional perspectives on this important issue.

After an introduction by Michael Burke, Associate Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Carl Camden addressed the panel, discussing his understanding of the importance of child care on the economy. “With the striking impact that a lack of high-quality child care has on working Michigan families and our economy, it’s essential for our leaders to invest in this key support, and to make sure that high-quality child care is available to more children in our state,” he said.

Sheriff Mike Murphy then talked about how Michigan’s child care system can help deter juvenile crime. “Our leaders in Lansing should consider all of the challenges parents, children, and employers face and make a commitment to push back against the infant-and-toddler child care crisis,” he said. “The potential rewards that we all reap as a result of that investment, including stronger long-term public safety, will be more than worth it.”

Lashawn Bridges spoke next, underscoring from her perspective as a child care provider and business owner how vital the child care sector is to Michigan’s recovery. “That’s why supporting access to affordable, high-quality child care is so important: not only because of its benefits to children and parents but also because this access will be a major part of our overall economic recovery.”

To conclude the event, Representative Greg VanWoerkom addressed the panel, offering comments that reflect his understanding of the issue and lawmakers’ role in strengthening the child care sector. “If we approach improving the child care sector a little more creativity, we can make some progress in helping businesses find the employees they desperately need and help individuals and their families continue to prosper.”

The event and the new research brief showcased how the infant-and-toddler child care crisis affects Michigan in various ways. Lawmakers need to continue to make meaningful investments in child care, for the sake of Michigan’s families, safety, economy, and overall prosperity.

Watch a full video of the event below.

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