Media Stories

PreK for All a good way to disrupt the preschool-to-prison pipeline
March 12, 2024|
When looking at Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s investment in PreK for All, the opportunity to develop basic social and academic skills is what’s often talked about when it comes to positive outcomes. Gaining more conversational traction, both in Michigan and across the country, is another benefit: universal pre-K’s power to disrupt the preschool-to-prison pipeline.

Opinion | Child tax credit expansion would lift Michigan children in poverty
January 31, 2024|
As it stands today, approximately 19 million children in our country are excluded from the full $2,000 federal Child Tax Credit — receiving only a partial credit or none at all — because their families earn too little.

Child care is Michigan’s ‘$10,000 problem’ in search of a solution
October 19, 2023|
Matt Gillard, president and CEO of the child-focused lobbying group Michigan’s Children, said the increased funding is a good start – as was the move to change child care provider subsidy repayments from attendance based to enrollment focused.

But given there’s been a one-party majority in the House, Senate and Governor’s Office for more than 10 months now, he’s discouraged by a lack of further movement on the topic, saying “for whatever reason, the political will has not been there to really address the problem.”

Over 1,200 childcare facilities in Michigan could close as federal aid comes to end
September 29, 2023|
Childcare is a costly expense for most families, but experts in Michigan fear the worst is yet to come for parents and childcare providers alike.

A federal program that allocated money to states for childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire Saturday, Sept. 30. The loss is expected to have devastating impacts on an already burdened childcare industry, potentially causing facilities to close and children to lose care.

Michigan looks to create a better career path for early childhood educators
September 13, 2023|
Two preschool teachers work across the hall from each other. Both teach four-year-olds, have the same education level and ability, and work to meet the curriculum standards set by the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). One teacher’s classroom is part of GSRP and the other is tuition-based, which creates a number of differences from student ratio to pay.

Whitmer Lays Out What’s Next
August 30, 2023|
Gov. Gretchen WHITMER called for a 100% clean energy standard, a drug affordability board to flag expensive pharmaceuticals, a paid family leave policy and state regulation of the siting of solar farms and wind turbines, during a new “What’s Next?” address this morning.

Michigan’s Children’s Announces Support for Paid Family Leave Policy for Michigan Families, along with Need for Reliable State Funding Stream for Child Care Costs
August 30, 2023|Immediate Release
Aug. 30, 2023 – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s call to expand paid leave to Michigan families is a game-changer for the state that deserves immediate attention in the Legislature, said Michigan’s Children President & CEO Matt Gillard on Wednesday.

PreK for All: Other states and cities share models for Michigan’s universal preschool program
August 16, 2023|
PreK for All will expand preschool options so every 4-year-old in Michigan can access a free preschool education. To guide this evolution of the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), the state is seeking input from parents, school districts, early childhood educators, and daycare providers both virtually and through ten listening sessions being held throughout the state. During recent Pre-K for All listening sessions in Detroit and Washtenaw County, attendees raised concerns that removing four-year-olds from home-based and community-based daycare and preschool programs could potentially put many out of business.

Enrollment declining for low-income and Black college and university students in Michigan
July 20, 2023|
Michigan colleges and universities have seen a decline in enrollment among low-income and Black students.

The number of Black students that enrolled in higher education in Michigan decreased by about 40% from 2012 to 2022, and enrollment of low-income students fell by close to 30% over that time, according to data from Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities.

Gov. Whitmer creates new Michigan agency for early childhood through post-secondary education
July 12, 2023|
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer established a new state agency Wednesday to focus on improving educational outcomes for students in preschool through postsecondary programs.

The Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential, or MiLEAP, will aim to help families access affordable child care, enroll kids in free pre-K, connect kids with before- and after-school activities, teach students about career options, and create paths for no-cost and affordable higher education in fields that are in demand.

Statement from Matt Gillard on the Governor’s Announcement of the New MiLEAP Department
July 12, 2023|Immediate Release
LANSING – Michigan’s Children President & CEO Matt Gillard said the Governor’s announced plans to create a new state department, the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential, is a positive step for improving outcomes in core priority areas that Michigan’s Children has identified as needing greater attention.

Advocates with Michigan’s Children work for policies concerning education, foster care
April 28, 2023|

Hundreds of Child Advocates Gather Thursday for Michele Corey Child Advocacy Summit
Michigan’s Children Hosts First-Time Event to Boost Grassroots Advocacy in State
April 24, 2023|Immediate Release

The hidden costs of juvenile court
February 20, 2023|
When Deidra Artecki asked the judge overseeing her son’s assault case why she had received a notice that she owed $700 in court fees — and whether she’d have to pay $700 every time her son appeared in court — the judge brushed her off. “We usually talk about the fees later on,” she told Artecki.

Whitmer’s fifth State of the State: Expanded preschool, tutoring top education agenda
January 25, 2023|
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, working with a friendly majority in the Legislature and a historically large budget surplus, used the first major speech of her second term to explain how she plans to use those advantages to shape Michigan’s education policy.

End of child tax credit expansion raises fear of resurgent children poverty
January 7, 2023|
The expansion of a federal tax credit to low-income families during the pandemic lifted more than half a million Michigan children out of poverty, so its ending at the finish of 2022 has advocates worried that it will put children at risk of falling back into poverty.

Expanded child tax credit should be on Congress’s wish list
December 16, 2022|Lansing State Journal
While our kids may be very different ages, as parents, that is a feeling we know well. And this December, the need for “one big thing” goes double for us as child advocates. And it will bring smiles, warmth and happiness to more than half a million Michigan kids.

End of child tax credit expansion could return some Michigan children to poverty
December 12, 2022|
The expansion of a federal tax credit to low-income families during the pandemic lifted more than half a million Michigan children out of poverty, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The expansion is set to end at the end of the year, and advocates worry that this will put children at risk of falling back into poverty.

State advocates warn that window to expand federal Child Tax Credit is closing
December 10, 2022|
Michigan-based child advocates who came together for a virtual panel Friday say it will be much more difficult to pass an expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) by Congress if it doesn’t happen by the end of this year.

Michigan takes steps to boost bed capacity for kids in mental health crisis
December 1, 2022|
Staffing shortages have helped shrink the number of residential spaces available to children and adolescents in severe mental-health crisis in Michigan’s foster and juvenile justice systems.

Detroit parents ask Michigan candidates how they plan to address air quality and asthma concerns
October 29, 2022|
With November’s election around the corner, parents want to know which electoral candidates will prioritize the issues they’re concerned with most. Air quality, access to asthma treatments in schools, funding for universal preschool, childhood mental health and students with special needs, affordable child care that offers living wages for staff, and early education teacher shortages are all on their minds. Many held electoral candidates accountable through their questions at a forum recently.

Universal pre-K, affordable child care, and teacher shortages: Michigan Senate candidates weigh in
October 29, 2022|
In metro Detroit, as in many other places in Michigan and the U.S., parents struggle to find affordable, quality care for their young children. Thousands of early education employees, among the lowest wage earners in the state, have left the industry for the higher compensation and benefits offered elsewhere. This has led to staffing shortages, child care facilities closing classrooms and reducing operating hours, and long waitlists for parents.

How will Michigan candidates support students with special needs?
October 29, 2022|
For decades, parents, educators, and advocates have debated how state legislators should allocate public dollars to education. At a recent virtual forum hosted by Detroit Champions for Hope and Michigan’s Children, Detroit parents had the opportunity to ask local candidates running for Michigan’s State Senate how best they can support students with special needs.

Local groups host forum, invite candidates to talk early childhood improvements
October 27, 2022|Fox 17
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The election is fewer than two weeks away and as politicians make their final push for your vote, many community groups are working to help you understand where they stand.

Grand Rapids legislative candidates to talk childcare accessibility at forum
October 27, 2022|
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Candidates in four state legislative races for the Grand Rapids area will share their stances on child care accessibility during a parent-led forum tonight.

Local State House, Senate Candidates Talk Childcare in Candidate Forum
October 17, 2022|
Local candidates running for Michigan’s House of Representatives and Senate gathered at the library in Traverse City Monday. They talked with voters about how they’ll make a difference for northern Michigan children and their families.

Meet the Candidate Debate- State Representatives Oct. 17 Traverse City Library
October 17, 2022|
On Oct. 17, your candidates for State House Districts 103, 104 and State Senate District 37 will debate at the Traverse City Library.

Kalamazoo youth asks questions to Michigan House, Senate candidates
October 11, 2022|News Channel 3
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — People in Kalamazoo as young as 14 and up to 24 years old discussed issues that are top-of-mind with Michigan House and Senate candidates.

Legislative foster care fixes headed to governor
September 30, 2022|Capital News Service
LANSING – Distant relatives could more easily adopt foster children and their lawyers would need trauma-informed training under a package of bills headed for the governor’s signature.

Parents ask Michigan candidates the hard questions about early child care and education
Here’s how they responded to child care affordability and universal preschool
September 30, 2022|
On Sept. 26 Detroit Champions for Hope, in partnership with Michigan’s Children, hosted a virtual forum where parents could ask local candidates running for Michigan’s State House this November about the issues on families’ minds. Congress of Communities in Southwest Detroit and Think Babies Michigan also sponsored the events.

Parents ask Michigan candidates: How will they support public education?
September 29, 2022|
For decades, parents, educators, and advocates have been debating where, and how many, public dollars should land in the education world. At a recent virtual forum hosted by Champions for Hope and Michigan’s Children, metro Detroit parents had the opportunity to ask Michigan House candidates about their commitment to support public education.

Political candidates answer to students in youth-led forum
September 21, 2022|The State News
Six state-level candidates faced what Rep. Sarah Anthony called “the toughest round of questioning a candidate can get” on Sept. 19 in a Lansing Community College auditorium.

Michigan youth asking questions, lawmakers respond
September 19, 2022|
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – Most high school students will not have a voice in the November election – but politicians on the ballot sat down Monday to hear what they have to say. It was a chance for Mid-Michigan teens to tell candidates what issues are important to them.

Students enrolled in Ingham Academy gathered at LCC West Campus to share their concerns and fears with Michigan lawmakers. Not being able to vote in the upcoming election didn’t stop students from talking about issues that effect them now – and in the future.

Local mid-Michigan students to hold candidate forum before November election
September 16, 2022|
LANSING, Mich. — Local students are set to ask tough questions next week at a candidate forum held at Lansing Community College’s West Campus.

The forum, which is sponsored by public policy organization Michigan’s Children, will host state and federal office seekers and provide students with an opportunity to ask policy questions about issues facing them today.

Young People from Peckham and Highfields Host Candidate Forum for Federal, State Office-Seekers at LCC – West Campus on Sept. 19
September 14, 2022|Immediate Release
(Lansing, Mich.) The stage is set for one of the most distinctive candidate forums in Lansing, bringing federal and state office-seekers together with local young people, some with court experience and other challenges. The youth, ages 14-24, are students at Peckham Youth Services, Inc., a vocational rehabilitation program, and Highfields, Inc., a provider of counseling and services for youth and families. The nonprofit public policy and advocacy organization, Michigan’s Children, is also a co-sponsor.

Report: COVID funds, state investments are improving lives of Michigan kids
July 28, 2022|
Michigan children are on a roll. Fewer live in poverty. There’s expanded state benefits for child care costs. State funding of Michigan schools is at an all-time high. There’s a big expansion of school health clinics on the way.

But there’s still a long way to go, and that progress could easily be lost without continued investment.

Michigan Programs Aim to prevent preschool expulsions, reducing lifelong harmful effects
July 21, 2022| Second Wave Michigan
Preschool expulsions have serious life-long implications for children, including development of a poor self-image as a learner, poor relationships with teachers, and a negative outlook on school in general. Michigan’s Children has long advocated for support for kids struggling in preschool to mitigate unintended consequences further in their educational journey. Read this important report from Second Wave media, which includes a perspective from Michigan’s Children’s policy associate Madeline Elliott.

Youth and Families Will Ask the Questions at July 7th Candidate Forum
The Children’s Center and Michigan’s Children Detroit Sponsor Detroit Event for Office-Seekers in the 13th Congressional, 8th state Senate, and 8th state House districts
July 7, 2022|Immediate Release
DETROIT, Mich. – The Children’s Center and Michigan’s Children will host a youth- and family-led candidate forum in high-interest races on July 7, 2022, to bring attention to the issues that matter most to young Detroiters and their families. This nonpartisan forum – not a debate – features invited candidates in the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District, the 8th state Senate District, and the 8th state House District.

Michigan’s mental health sector could see a $565M boost
June 15, 2022|
Michigan’s mental health system is poised to receive the largest infusion of funding its seen in decades after the state Senate overwhelmingly gave the OK to an appropriations bill totaling more than $560 million.­

Building trust and bridging the gap between police and community
May 22, 2022|Lansing State Journal
In honor of local law enforcement, we’ve curated a variety of viewpoints from police officers and community members working to build bridges. Read on to learn about officers and programs that are working to build bridges in our local communities.

Kinship Care Day in Lansing recognizes Michigan’s ‘kinship families’
May 18, 2022 |
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – Over 2,000 children are living in ‘kinship’ families in Michigan. That means the children are staying with relatives other than their parents.

Wednesday in downtown Lansing was an event designed to educate these families. The group Michigan’s Children partnered with the Michigan Kinship Care Coalition for what they call a dome day at the capitol building. Before that, they met at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church for speaker presentations and lunch.

Crystal Sanford-Brown Joins Michigan’s Children Board of Directors
April 14, 2022|Immediate Release
LANSING, MI —Crystal Sanford-Brown, a long-time early childhood educator and advocate from the Detroit area (Bloomfield Hills), has joined the board of directors for Michigan’s Children, the state-wide public policy and advocacy group known for its vigorous support of issues in support of children and families, particularly those facing the greatest challenges. Sanford-Brown is the founder of the nonprofit, Emerging Young Leadership, Inc., an organization dedicated to working with young people who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences by providing a safe space for sharing their stories.

Lee Fitzpatrick of Alpena joins Michigan’s Children Board of Directors
April 14, 2022|Immediate Release
LANSING, MI —Lee Fitzpatrick of Alpena has joined the board of directors for Michigan’s Children, the state-wide public policy and advocacy group known for its vigorous support of issues in support of children and families, particularly those facing the greatest challenges. Fitzpatrick works as the Director of Communications for Alpena Schools, and has spent the past 22 years of his career in a variety of public, private and charter schools, focused on helping to improve opportunities for all kids.

Dome Days event raises awareness of youth homelessness
March 7, 2022|
Text: Dome Days is an event that allows young people in the state facing homelessness and housing insecurities. In early March, the Michigan youth homeless networks travel to Lansing with a group of young people facing or having faced homelessness to tell stories about housing insecurities in the state.

Report finds more than 20,000 children without a stable home in Michigan
February 25, 2022|Michigan Radio
An estimated 22,444 high school youth didn’t have a stable place to live across the state of Michigan in 2019. The report found that high school-aged youth who are homeless report higher rates of attempted suicide, prescription drug misuse, pregnancy and forced sex, compared to their peers with permanent homes.

Advocates pitch savings accounts for pandemic orphans
February 25, 2022|Capitol News Service
LANSING – Michigan ranked 11th in the country in the number of children who have lost a primary caregiver due to COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

’30 percent of my income’: Parents burdened by costs as child care providers struggle to survive
February 20, 2022|The Morning Sun
Thousands of Michigan parents, along with the state’s nearly 8,000 child care providers, find it challenging to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic amid rising costs, worker shortages, and outbreaks leading to closures, schedule changes, and quarantines for children and staff.

Governor’s Budget Moves in Right Direction Except for Child Care – Michigan’s Children
February 9, 2022|Immediate Release
Governor Whitmer’s FY2022-23 budget plan makes important strides in recognizing the need for critical funding for addressing the early childhood workforce crisis, preschool, afterschool programs, and mental health services. However, it falls short of necessary state resources to strengthen the state’s child care system, an issue that’s emerged as a top economic and social problem plaguing employers, providers and working parents across Michigan, said Michigan’s Children President & CEO Matt Gillard today.

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