It moved us to find that the state would set aside $ 1.4 billion in federal money over the next two years to invest in childcare start-ups.
It bothered us to learn how difficult it can be for childcare providers to get that money.
As recently reported by News Team correspondent Barbara Woodham, the state has approved $ 750 in aid for the owners of the newest child care center in Northeast Michigan, the Great Lakes Child Care Center – and the center did not receive that money until the last Woodham story was printed. week.
But Northeast Michigan is in dire need of childcare facilities. We have only three daycare centers (excluding kindergartens) that can care for 20 or more children, and only a handful of centers that can care for up to 20 children, Woodham reported.
The Michigan Public Policy League calls most of northeastern Michigan a “child care desert.”
What’s more frustrating, Maria Finch, owner of the new child care center in the Great Lakes, said she does not know why she is not eligible for further assistance.
“How does the state choose where the money goes?” she asked.
We would also like more information on this.
Lack of child care is more frustrating for parents who do not find someone to look after their children, and this is important for all of us.
When a parent cannot find child care, he or she may not be able to work. And it contributes to a shortage of manpower that affects us all, which is holding back our economy.
We call on the state to invest that $ 1.4 billion wisely, to put the most money in the place where it can do best.
And Northeast Michigan obviously needs one.
The state also needs to promote the money available to make sure anyone thinking of setting up a childcare center knows there is help available.