Lunch & Learn Program

House and Senate FY25 Budget Plans are Moving: Let’s Look at Funding Recs for Children and Families

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Join us as we explore details in the emerging House and Senate budget plans for FY2025. We’ll examine the funding levels lawmakers are putting forth for programs and services benefiting our children, youth, and families. And we’ll compare them with Governor Whitmer’s recommended budget plans for the coming year.

Hear from a panel of statewide advocates and Michigan’s Children staff as they discuss where you can make your voice heard in the budget process. Panelists are:

Jeff Cobb, Director of Government Affairs, The Education Trust – Midwest

Tyler Huntey, CEO, Huntey’s Clubhouse; founding member, The Michigan Child Care Provider Collective

Madeline Elliott, Policy & Program Associate, Michigan’s Children

Matt Gillard, President & CEO, Michigan’s Children,


Winning Time: Tips for Productive Conversations with Lawmakers and Candidates

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Hear from three experts from the lobbying field and advocacy as they describe how to have a “winning” conversation with lawmakers and decision-makers around budget “asks” important to kids and families. We’ll offer a role-playing exercise in which Michigan’s Children’s Policy Associate Lindsay Huddleston talks to a “lawmaker” about the need for state funding for runaway and homeless youth. Then Matt Gillard opens up the panel talk with these guests:

  • Harvey Santana, a former Michigan State representative, now the Michigan State Director for the Alliance for Safety and Justice.
  • Christin Nohner, lobbyist with Kelley Cawthorne, a leading Midwestern lobbying firm with offices in Lansing and Detroit.
  • and Patrick Brown (right), Director of Adult Student Attainment Strategy for the Michigan College Access Network.


Winning Time: Tips for Productive Conversations with Lawmakers and Candidates (recording)
Winning Time: Tips for Productive Conversations with Lawmakers and Candidates (PPT)
Winning Time: Tips for Productive Conversations with Lawmakers and Candidates (YouTube)


Breaking through the Noise
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024

Governor Whitmer’s FY25 budget recommendations are out. Join us as we discuss highlights of issues related to children and families with guest panelists from key policy areas. Learn how to catch the ear of lawmakers as the noisy campaign and election season heats up.

Guests: Frances Einterz, Senior Director of Early Childhood Equity Initiatives, The Policy Equity Group; Ryan Fewins-Bliss, Executive Director, Michigan College Access Network; Erica Willard, Executive Director, the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children.


The True Cost of Care & the Child Care System Michigan Needs
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024

Michigan’s Children is proud to host its first Lunch & Learn program of 2024 with a timely panel discussion on the “The True Cost of Care & the Child Care System Michigan Needs.” Building a child care system that works for families and the providers who care for our children is one of the most urgent public issues of our time. To discuss solutions to this critical crisis, we assembled a seasoned group of expert researchers, economists, and policy gurus. Watch the recording here.

Our panelists were: Sacha Klein, Senior Director of Policy & Advocacy, The Early Childhood Investment Corp. (ECIC); Brandy Jones Lawrence, Senior Analyst, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment/ Institute for Research on Labor & Employment, University of California; Amy Checkoway, Senior Associate Commissioner, Massachusetts Dept. of Early Education & Care; Kathryn Anne Edwards, Economic Policy Consultant; Opinion Writer, Bloomberg; Adjunct Economist, RAND Corp.



Lunch & Learn Series 2023/2022/2021

Click on the images below to access each program resources

Michigan’s Early Childhood Workforce Crisis: The Way Forward
January 19, 2022

Looking Back at 2021 Policy Highlights and Investment Wins for Children & Families
December 15, 2021

Getting to Know the 2021 Michigan Legislature: Building Great Relationships with Incoming (and Returning) Lawmakers
December 16, 2020