Investing in Michigan Children
Members of ReadyNation Michigan write to lawmakers advocating for expanded early childhood programs
On April 15, 2022, ReadyNation members in Michigan authored a letter to the state legislature urging lawmakers to prioritize funding to support infants, toddlers, and other kids in the state. The business leaders who signed the letter represent a wide variety of sectors that all have one thing in common: a need for a skilled, reliable workforce.
Without access to affordable, high-quality early childhood programs like child care, pre-K, and home visiting, working parents—especially mothers—face more challenges at work or may leave the workforce altogether. As the letter states, “high-quality early care and education programs build a stronger workforce now and in the future.”
A 2021 ReadyNation research brief, “Want to Strengthen Michigan’s Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis,” found that the infant-toddler child care crisis costs the state economy an estimated $1.4 billion each year in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue. This figure represents pre-pandemic data and has likely worsened following COVID-19. Investing in young Michiganders will help recover the workforce of today and bolster the long-term state economy.
The letter specifically calls for expansions of child care provider subsidy rates and additional funding to support the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program, Early On, voluntary home visiting programs, and the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), the state’s free preschool program for four-year-olds.
Research shows that these programs support infant, toddler, and preschooler brain development by offering healthy, nurturing learning environments and providing new parents with tools for success.
There has never been a more important investment than our children. If state leaders prioritize these resources, Michigan will reap the benefits for years to come.