Urgent: Tell your State Legislators to Increase their Support for Child Care to Help Families and Providers

(April 24, 2024) Lawmakers are quickly moving FY2025 budget bills that reflect decisions impacting language and funding levels for child care support for families and providers in the new year. Before the state budget is finalized, now’s the time to raise your voices with state Legislators and their leadership before the budget process concludes, expected around mid-June. See call scripts and email language included in each item below.

  • Presumptive Eligibility: Advocates including Michigan’s Children are seeking a change that would enable income-eligible families to begin receiving child care assistance while their Mi Bridges scholarship applications are being reviewed, instead of after the review and approval process. This prevents families and child care providers from being on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars in care costs while waiting for the Department of Health and Human Services review to conclude, often lasting up to three months. Support the move for “presumptive eligibility” by contacting your state lawmakers and key leaders listed below. See our call script and email template for presumptive eligibility.
  • Increase Child Care Scholarship Rates: The state currently underfunds the child care scholarship program (formerly called the child care subsidy) to the tune of $3.2 billion, according to Michigan’s Early Childhood True Cost Report. Advocates and Michigan’s Children are asking for a 26 percent increase in the child care scholarship rates paid to child care businesses on behalf of parents who are low-and-moderate income earners. Contact your state lawmakers and Legislative leaders to urge them to increase the rate for families and providers. See our call script and email template for child care scholarships.

Find your state lawmakers: state Senator search and state Representative search.

The key legislative leaders to contact: Sen. Winnie Brinks, the Senate Majority Leader, Rep. Joe Tate, the Speaker of the House, Sen. Sarah Anthony, the Senate Appropriations Chair, and Rep. Angela Witwer, the House Appropriations Chair.

Tell State Senate to Pass Reforms for Homeless Youth Services

(March 2024) Two bipartisan House bills supporting youth who become homeless, HB 4085 and 4086, were approved by the full House last year and were adopted by the Senate’s Housing and Human Services Committee in November 2023. They continue to await final action by the Senate. Your support could help get these bills over the finish line. (See ways to contact your state senator below.)

HB 4085 allows homeless youth service providers up to 72 hours instead of the current allowable 24 hours to find a parent/guardian to consent to services before having to refer a child to Child Protective Services. Youth-focused advocates including Michigan’s Children and the Michigan Network for Youth and Families, are urging lawmakers to make the change because too many young people are falling prey to sex and labor traffickers and other forms of victimization when living on the streets.

Many who have run away from home or are otherwise estranged from their families are unable to immediately seek or receive their parents’ consent. Shelters often step in to help reunify youth with their families, but some need just a little more time to find a family member. According to Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, shelters served only 11 percent of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness in 2019.

HB 4086 would create a specific definition for the licensure of organizations that serve homeless youth in order to put an end to some recent unintended consequences that stem from licensing changes to other youth-service agencies.

Please support these bills by contacting your state Senator. Find your Senator here.