Michigan to give $1,000 bonuses to 38K childcare workers

Michigan

Funding will help provide programs with the ability to offer sign on bonuses, in an effort to fill staff vacancies.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Childcare workers all across the State of Michigan are going to be receiving $1,000 bonuses.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that $365 million will go towards childcare programs across the state.

That means licensed childcare centers, group homes, family homes and tribal childcare providers are receiving grants to help keep programs in operation, as well as providing bonuses to staff members, Whitmer said.

Approximately 5,890 childcare programs have received funding through the Child Care Stabilization Grant.

Many Michigan families rely on childcare to keep their children safe, happy, healthy, and learning while parents work or go to school. It’s simple. Our economy cannot thrive without a strong childcare industry. I worked across the aisle to secure the largest investment in childcare in the state’s history. This funding helps keep our childcare businesses open, makes childcare more affordable for families, and delivers bonuses to childcare professionals. All our kids deserve a great start. These grants are another investment in their future.”   

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Funds must be used to support operational expenses and a site’s COVID-19 response.  

A vast majority of applicants requested and received funding for $1,000 sign on bonuses to fill staff vacancies.

The Child Care Stabilization Grant is a non-competitive grant for childcare programs to help stabilize operations and support the health and safety of children and staff.

Back in fall 2021, eligible licensed childcare programs applied for funding.

If you missed the first application period, you can expect a second application to be released in late spring 2022. 

  • Total grant awards: 5,890  
    • Average awards:  
  • Family home program: $10,763  
  • Group home program: $20,454  
  • Childcare center: $108,685  
    • Total bonuses awarded:   
  • $1,000 to 24,947 full time staff members   
  • $500 to 13,213 part time staff members  

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is partnering with the Michigan Works! network in February to host virtual job fairs to fill these jobs.

I’m so grateful for this grant. It’s giving me the opportunity to offer free childcare to my families. I also plan to use funding to give my employee a raise. I want an employee that will stay here and be valued more than a minimum wage employee. I’ve owned a home-based childcare business for 10 years. I love this job, but it’s hard work. I work 18 hours a day. The pandemic makes it even more challenging. This grant makes it just a little bit easier to stay open and focus on teaching my kids.” 

Tamie Stampfly, an owner and operator of a family group home childcare in Berrien County

I’m honored to serve the children of Flint in two centers. Unfortunately, one of my sites has been temporarily closed due to the pandemic and staffing shortages. This grant will help me reopen my program, recruit the qualified staff, and continue providing high quality early learning for children and families in my community.”  

Teyana Sprinkle, owner and operator of the Honey Bee Palace Childcare Center in Flint

The grant funding is like being thrown a life preserver to finally pay all staff more than minimum wage as well as provide more than minimum training. I plan to offer bonuses as staff further their education on behalf of the children. This will include additional training for a deeper understanding of how to serve children with special needs and trauma because these are a part of our everyday.” 

Theresa Buggia, owner and director at Kids Club in Tuscola County.

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