By Dr. Darienne Hudson
In recent decades, the dynamics of family and work life have evolved significantly. Most households need two incomes just to make ends meet, and nearly 40% of families in our region, even those with two working adults, still struggle. Single-parent households – nearly a quarter of households in our region, face even greater challenges.
United Way’s 2023 ALICE report shows that the cost of child care represents the largest portion of the household budget for families with preschool-aged children. During the pandemic, the federal government – understanding the essential nature of child care and child care workers, invested in programs to make this vital service more affordable. Like many COVID-era interventions, this increased support recently ended, putting even greater pressure on the economy, providers, families and most concerningly, our children. While state leaders have responded by increasing Michigan’s investment in the child care system, a systemic funding gap persists.