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State Rep. John Roth (at podium), of Traverse City, speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, June 15 at the state Capitol building in Lansing. Legislators and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced new bipartisan measures establishing a more accessible, higher-quality child care system for Michigan families.

Rep. Roth joins legislators, governor to unveil impactful child-care reforms
RELEASE|June 15, 2021
Contact: John Roth

State Rep. John Roth today joined several House legislators and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as well as child-care industry and regional business leaders from across Michigan, to announce bipartisan measures establishing a more accessible, higher-quality child care system for Michigan families.

The plan continues to prioritize high-quality care for families to ensure children are safe while also providing much-needed flexibility to better support providers that depend on adequate resources to deliver reliable, effective care.

“Access to care is a huge issue for many families,” said Roth, of Traverse City. “Many hard-working people cannot find care for their children due to a lack of available providers or providers being at capacity. People face difficult choices as a result, such as having to take time away from their job or leaving the workforce completely. They shouldn’t be forced into these choices, and these plans shore up availability while strengthening the child-care industry as a whole.”

Common-sense regulatory reforms include measures such as a safe path for providers to locate in multi-use buildings to expand access to where families live and work, allowing providers to share certain health and safety records online to help parents access information, enhanced reporting requirements and more concise regulation to let high-quality providers thrive while bad actors are held accountable.

“The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance applauds the Legislature and the governor for addressing one of the business community’s biggest challenges: quality childcare,” said Stacie Bytwork, president and CEO of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce and chairperson of the Alliance, which includes Traverse City. “Child-care is a talent issue and the business community is all-in on supporting our child-care providers so that they stay in business and build capacity for our families to have access to quality care.”

State research has shown that 75 percent of children in Michigan live in areas with limited access to child care. In addition, 10 Michigan counties do not currently have licensed slots at centers that serve children younger than 30 months.

The bills are expected to be formally introduced this week.

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