Act Now: State Lawmakers Need to Hear from You in Support of Great Start Collaboratives
Urge Lawmakers to Adopt Governor’s Proposed $7.5 Million Increase

(June 8, 2022) – As state legislators and Governor Whitmer negotiate their priorities for this year’s state budget, we need to make sure they include the Governor’s proposed $7.5 million funding increase in Great Start Collaboratives. Now is the time to call your lawmaker and leave a message in support of this needed budget increase.

It’s important because Great Start Collaboratives collectively work to increase access to high-quality, early learning opportunities for families in communities across Michigan. They help improve literacy for young children, and help safeguard parents’ ability to remain in the workforce. They also increase local investments in early childhood programs, and work to improve early childhood systems to positively impact kids and families.

Find your state lawmakers here, and call their offices today.

Use our script found here to leave a word-for-word message, or improvise based on your particular experiences. Know this: When legislators receive many calls on an issue, it tends to inform their own priorities and actions. Calling lawmakers makes a difference!

Want to learn more about Great Start Collaboratives? Click here.

Questions? Reach out to madeline@michiganschildren.org


Act Now: Support A Historic Increase to the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit

(May 20, 2022) Michigan’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) today is one of the lowest of the 31 states that have enacted state EITCs. Enacted in 2006, providing an extra 20% to Michigan taxpayers on top of what they received from the federal EITC, it was reduced to 6 percent in 2011. With a historic surplus of state revenues and rising inflation hurting working families, expanding Michigan’s EITC would help nearly 750,000 hard-working Michigan families and nearly one million Michigan children. The time is now to act to support Michigan’s hardworking families.

Join us in supporting expanding Michigan’s EITC to at least 30 percent of the federal EITC in order to help working families with low income and children. Use this Action Alert to inform your lawmakers. Learn more in this coalition fact sheet.


Act Now: State Lawmakers Need to Hear from You in Support of Early On and the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program
Call your State Senator and Representative and Urge Them to Prioritize
These Programs in the State Budget

(May 19, 2022) Now is the time to let our lawmakers know that they must prioritize investments in kids and families. The state legislature is currently negotiating its top priorities, and we must ensure that Early On and the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program are front and center in these discussions.

Take action today by calling your state Senator and state Representative and urging them to invest in these two programs. Use the scripts below when you call:

Find your state lawmakers here. Feel free to go off-script to share your thoughts and experiences, or read the script word-for-word. When legislative offices receive many calls on the same issue, legislators hear about it, and it informs the priorities that they invest in.

Call this week so that legislators hear a storm of advocates fighting for these programs in unison.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to madeline@michiganschildren.org. And let us know how the calls went – who you called, and how they responded. We’d love to hear the feedback!

Background and Budget Update: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program
This program, which is also called social-emotional consulting, helps child care teachers provide higher quality care by attending to kids’ social and emotional needs, reducing teacher stress and burnout, and preventing children from being suspended or expelled from child care.

Currently, the Governor, House, and Senate have not proposed any funding increases for the program, despite the fact that only 18 of the 83 counties in Michigan have access to mental health consultation.

Background and Budget Update: Early On
Early On is Michigan’s early intervention program for infants and toddlers who have developmental delays or disabilities. Early On connects families with professionals like physical therapists and speech therapists who visit them in their homes to teach parents skills for supporting their child’s development.

The Governor proposed a $7.1 million funding increase for Early On, but the House and Senate did not include increased funding in their versions of the budget, despite the fact that Early On is chronically underfunded and providers across the state cannot meet all of the needs of families with their current funding.

Join us in this fight by taking 2-3 minutes to call your lawmakers today.


Act Now: Congress Needs to Hear from You in Support of Child Care, Expanding the Child Tax Credit, other Family Supports
American Families Plan Would Make Major Investments in America’s Safety Net

(Oct. 6, 2021) Decisions are being made right now on Capitol Hill that will determine whether Congress passes legislation with major investments in America’s child care system and other family safety net programs as outlined in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and American Families Plan, now under debate in the Budget Reconciliation process. Whether you are a parent, child care provider, educator, business person, religious leader or civic leader, your voice is needed today. We urge you to contact your elected representatives in Washington, D.C. to impress upon them that you want support for child care, the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, and other children’s services prioritized in the Reconciliation package being debated in Congress.

These investments will strengthen and uplift Michigan families at a time when they and Michigan’s economy desperately need a booster shot to emerge strong from the impacts of the worldwide pandemic. Provisions of the Budget Reconciliation package will add billions of dollars for Michigan families by expanding the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and financial assistance that lowers the cost of long-term care, prescription drugs, and child care services.

Follow this link provided by the First Five Years Fund to send a message to your Member of Congress. Michigan has 14 U.S. representatives and two senators in Washington, D.C. who need to understand the challenges Michigan families face and the help they need to emerge from these difficult times. Let’s invest in our families and future!


Act Now: ARPA Dollars Needed to Provide for Adult Education
Tell Lawmakers to Direct ARPA Funds for Basic Skills & Career Training for Disadvantaged Workers

(September 9, 2021) The COVID pandemic and economic crisis has laid bare the need to accelerate education resources for all learners, including individuals seeking a credential or degree to improve their employment prospects and better support themselves and their families. Even before the global crisis, 1 in 10 Michiganders over 18 did not have a high school diploma; additionally, over 1 million Michiganders without a college education were working, but earning less than the living wage. The need to improve the economic stability of all Michiganders and their families is great. Therefore, it is imperative that Michigan lawmakers prioritize adult education programs by directing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to Michigan programs that ensure more adult learners are supported, served and moved into gainful employment.

Michigan’s Children supports the Michigan Association for Community and Adult Education (MACAE) request for an increase in adult education funding by using available federal relief dollars. To this point, the state has not directly allocated any federal funds for adult basic education or skill building in Michigan, even though policymakers have made huge investments in other pandemic-impacted education programs, namely those in the state’s K-12 system.

The pandemic has exasperated obstacles individuals face in accessing adult education programs. Most commonly, barriers have included a lack of child care, transportation, internet access, and career and postsecondary transitional services. ARPA funds will assist in dismantling some of these barriers, opening up more opportunities for adult learners. As advocates for Michigan’s children and families, please urge your elected leaders to direct Michigan’s ARPA funds to support the state’s adult education programs.

For additional information, read MACAE’s letter soliciting ARPA funds before state Lawmakers here.

Follow this link to a letter that will ultimately be sent to your state representative, state senator and the Office of the Governor!


Act Now: Kinship Families and Kids Need Support, not Political Posturing
Urge Your Lawmaker to Adopt Bills Creating a Kinship Navigator Program, and Kinship Advisory Council

Act Now: The Michigan Kinship Care Coalition, a group of invested partners and providers, is urging the state legislature and Executive Office to work together to bring forward and pass the Kinship Navigator and Kinship Advisory Council bills to improve the care and wellbeing of 52,000 kids in Michigan.

(July 28, 2021) After passing with bipartisan support in the last legislative session and then vetoed, it is far time for these important pieces of legislation to become policy. Michigan’s children and kinship/relative providers need the critical resources, networking and support that these acts would create.

Take advantage of the time we have now to urge your State Senator and Representative to support adoption of the Kinship Navigator and Kinship Advisory Council bills. Contact your policymakers by using the Michigan House Directory and the Michigan Senate Directory.

Kinship Care Action Alert letter click here.


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