LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – Michigan’s Child Care Stabilization Grant will deliver $1,000 bonuses to childcare professionals and operational grants for childcare businesses.

$380 million is available through the grant. Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the investment will ensure kids and working families succeed.

“Childcare is the backbone of a strong economy and childcare professionals and programs go above and beyond every day to care for our kids, helping them learn and grow in a safe environment,” said  Whitmer. ” Countless working parents rely on childcare, and without the tireless, often thankless work of providers and professionals, working families would not be able to get back to work and pursue their potential. I was proud that we were able to come together and put childcare providers and professionals first in the bipartisan budget I signed. Thanks to our collaboration, we are delivering every childcare professional a $1,000 bonus in recognition of their incredible sacrifices, expanding low or no-cost care to 105,000 kids, and helping providers invest in and improve their programs.  With this investment, we can ensure kids and working families succeed as we continue ushering in a new era of prosperity for our communities.”   

Over 4,000 childcare programs have applied for the grant so far, there is still funding available and the application is open until 5:00 P.M. on December 8. There is still funding available and providers can apply at Michigan.gov/childcare. State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice says the funds offer needed support to childcare programs

“Childcare providers are enormously important in supporting Michigan’s children, families, businesses, and the economy as a whole,” said Rice. “These state funds help recognize and appreciate childcare providers and affords them some needed financial support to help keep their programs open and focused on our earliest learners.” 

Providers can reach out to their local Great Start Quality Resource Center to get assistance applying.

“These grants help childcare providers retain and attract staff, improve quality, and invest in their program’s future. We’re working with a statewide team to encourage every provider to apply. If you’re a licensed childcare program, and you haven’t applied, please contact your Great Start to Quality Resource Center for help you apply by December 8th,” said Dr. Tami Mannes, Director of Early Childhood Services at the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District.   

“These grants can truly stabilize and even accelerate programming for many early education and care providers, and that’s why we are committing resources to make sure providers know about and take advantage of this opportunity. This includes daily posts and phone calls to providers where our team is able to overcome hesitancy and even dispel some myths that have happily resulted in providers starting their applications even while on the phone,” said Denise Smith, Implementation Director at Hope Starts Here in Detroit. 

Governor Whitmer also expanded access to free or low-cost childcare. Families of four earning up to $49,000 annually are eligible for free or low-cost childcare. Families can apply for childcare assistance by visiting MiBridges.Michigan.gov.