Gov. Whitmer proposes $1.4 billion investment in child care

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her plan to invest $1.4 billion to child care. The governor said her plan would help both families and child care professionals.

While the governor’s plan is just a proposal, it still has many in the child care industry excited about the possibility of getting that investment.

Pamela Champion is one of those people.

“I was like, ‘Yes! Finally! This is what early childhood education really needs,’ ” Champion said.

Champion has worked in the child care industry for 40 years.

“My purpose, living my purpose,” Champion said.

Champion started her own child care facility in Lansing more than two decades ago. It’s something she’s always wanted.

“This dream when I was a little girl to have Pam’s Academy of Champions and this is something that I’m supposed to do,” Champion said.

Champion said when she heard about Governor Whitmer’s proposed $1.4 billion dollar investment in child care, she was over the moon.

“We will be able to build strong foundations by having funding like this,” Champion said.

If passed, Governor Whitmer’s plan would increase income eligibility for those who need child care.

Families making almost $42,000 could get low to free child care. Right now, that’s only possible for families making a little over $39,000.

The governor’s proposal also sets aside money for those who work in the child care field.

“This is a skilled and honorable profession that requires several concrete capabilities and countless intangible skills,” Champion said.

The governor’s plan calls for tuition-free education and training for people getting into the child care field, and premium pay with sign-on bonuses.

While it’s just a proposal at this point, Champion hopes the governor and state lawmakers will find the common ground needed to push these federal dollars through.

“If we invest and have a strong foundation, we’re gonna have youngsters to grow up and be strong citizens in our community,” Champion said.

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