Saturday, October 16, 2021

Play

Community college students in California are encouraged to examine their options; plus a Boeing 737 Max test pilot was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of deceiving safety regulators.

Play

Environmentalists have high hopes for President Biden at an upcoming climate summit, a bipartisan panel cautions against court packing, and a Trump ally is held in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena.

Play

A rebuttal is leveled over a broad-brush rural-schools story; Black residents in Alabama's Uniontown worry a promised wastewater fix may fizzle; cattle ranchers rally for fairness; and the worms are running in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Child Care Costs as Much as College for Some Michigan Families

Play

Monday, March 29, 2021   

LANSING, Mich. -- Affordable child care is a crucial support for working parents, rivaling the cost of college or housing for some Michiganders.

Research from the Michigan League for Public Policy showed the price for an infant at a child-care center is nearly 20% of income for Michiganders at the state's median income level of about $57,000 dollars.

Parker James, Kids Count Policy Analyst at the League, said Michigan has a low eligibility rate for the state's child-care subsidy program, with just 5% of kids age five and younger qualifying.

"Just the eligibility remaining too low leaves a lot of families out," James explained. "And having to make really tough decisions about economic opportunities, educational opportunities, a lot of sacrifices being made just because child care is so expensive."

The national median eligibility is about 180% of the poverty level; Michigan's is 150%.

The report, with county-level fact sheets, was created as part of the new Think Babies Michigan Collaborative, which is working to make Michigan a top state in which to have a baby and raise a child.

James added another challenge is some Michigan families live in child-care deserts, where there is a lack of supply of licensed child-care providers.

"Providers tend to concentrate in areas with higher median incomes and housing values," James pointed out. "So communities with lower incomes; rural communities, communities that have been racially segregated and cut off from resources, those are the families really most affected by this lack of child care."

Child-care workers also face financial challenges. James noted roughly half of them are eligible for some sort of public assistance and few have health care, paid sick leave or other benefits.

"We're advocating for solutions that both support providers by increasing reimbursement rates and subsidy and also families by increasing eligibility," James emphasized. "So we can support families, but also support providers and child-care workers who tend to be some of the lowest paid professionals in the state."

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's 2022 budget proposal includes a temporary increase of the child-care subsidy eligibility to 200% of poverty, and an increase in rates paid by the state to child-care providers.

Disclosure: The Michigan League for Public Policy/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Children's Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
As of 2021, medical aid in dying is an option for terminally ill adults in 10 states and Washington, D.C. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A new survey shows most New Yorkers approve of medical aid-in-dying legislation, and advocates for end-of-life autonomy said it is …


Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohioans across religious traditions have come together as one voice this week to speak out against capital punishment. Dozens of …

Social Issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Community college students in California are being encouraged to take a closer look at their education plans, to see if …


There are an estimated 42,000 farms in Arkansas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- New efforts are underway to help small-scale farms in Arkansas expand their business. The Food Conservancy, a northwest Arkansas …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A high percentage of rejected voter registrations in three of Ohio's biggest counties is raising some red flags. According to the …

Virginia's statewide election is Tues., Nov. 2, and polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: The last day to request absentee ballots in Virginia is Fri., Oct. 22. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Oct…

Social Issues

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A special court panel is hosting public hearings this month, asking Minnesotans what new political maps should look like, and …

Social Issues

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas has some of the weakest gun laws in America, and gun-control advocates say the permissive attitude may be why a student …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021