|Without immediate action by the state Legislature, Michigan stands to permanently lose an estimated $20 million in federal Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) dollars because of reduced state match spending. State child care spending is down because of policies that limit eligibility and payments for child care subsidies for low-income working parents.
Michigan cannot afford to leave federal dollars on the table for a work support as vital as child care, especially with the recent reduction in expected state revenues. At the same time, Michigan has one of the lowest income eligibility caps for child care subsidies in the country—a state policy that keeps families and children in poverty. Too many families in our state cannot afford the child care needed to secure and keep lower-wage jobs and are therefore unable get a toehold in the economy and support their families.
To secure the state’s maximum federal allotment and prevent the loss of critical federal funds, a state match of approximately $7 million in child care spending is required in the 2016 and 2017 budgets. One way the state can invest more in child care and help more families is by expanding the state’s child care subsidy eligibility from 121% to 150% of the federal poverty level.
The urgency of this issue is very real, as is the need for YOU to take action. By increasing child care eligibility to a level more in line with other states, Michigan can avoid the loss of sorely needed federal funds and bring additional child care dollars into our communities.
Please contact the members of the House and Senate Conference Committee on the Michigan Department of Education Budget (SB 786) and tell them to ACT NOW to protect this funding and improve the state’s child care support: