Michigan’s $59 Million Investment Paid for Expansions, Upgrades, and Renovations at 1,100 Childcare Facilities

Thanks to federal dollars from the Facilities Improvement Fund, the Michigan Department of Lifelong Learning, Achievement, and Potential (MiLEAP) disbursed $59 million to help more than 1,100 home- and center-based childcare facilities fund more than 3,500 renovation and upgrade projects. The projects expanded access to safe, quality, and affordable childcare for families across the state.

“Quality, safe, and affordable childcare is essential to the vitality of communities,” said MiLEAP Acting Director Michelle Richard. “Childcare enables parents to remain in the labor force, increasing household income, boosting economic productivity, and benefiting their community.”

Caring for Mi Future is a federally funded Michigan plan to open or expand 1,000 childcare programs by the end of 2024. This goal was met and exceeded one year ahead of schedule, with 1,200 new childcare centers and 2,159 home-based providers expanding to create 36,783 new spots in childcare facilities across Michigan.

“Thanks to our childcare providers and the Caring for Mi Future team, more than 1,100 childcare programs across the state are able to offer higher-quality care to more families. And we’re not done,” Richard added.

“There is still an urgent need for more childcare facilities, the professionals caring for our children need more support, and we are dedicated to making sure every community in Michigan has access to world-class care for children and families.”

Caring for Mi Future’s Facilities Improvement Fund (FIF)

The FIF is a part of Caring for Mi Future and has distributed $59 million to new and expanding childcare providers across Michigan. The FIF grant has helped home- and center-based childcare providers undertake more than 3,500 projects to renovate and upgrade their facilities. These projects range from replacing furnaces and windows to outdoor playscapes and creating safe play spaces indoors.

“This project has impacted my program in the best way!” says Juanna Edwards, owner of Winnie’s Bright Beginnings Child Care in Sterling Heights. “My old floors were cracked and a tripping hazard. With new flooring, the kitchen area is safe for the children, and I have so much more space to prepare and store food. My basement has been updated so the children have a bigger learning space, a bigger play area, and a bigger place to sleep. I can now enroll more childcare children and hire an assistant to help because the areas have more space and room so that everyone can be comfortable. This grant has been absolutely amazing.”

Work on some of the FIF projects will continue through July 31 when the final funds will be disbursed. IFF, a mission driven lender, developer, and real estate consultant, is administering the FIF on behalf of MiLEAP.

“It’s great to see how much the funds are improving these learning environments. Safe, quality childcare spaces help lay the foundation for positive early childhood experiences,” says Jeff Henze, implementation director at IFF. “We have also seen these projects inspiring other providers. Whether it is a fixture they hadn’t seen before or a room layout they hadn’t thought of, providers are seeing what they can do, what a difference it makes, and then applying it to their facilities. That will continue well beyond when the final grant project is complete.”

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