A new report details the current state of child care in Northwest Lower Michigan, including needs and challenges for families and child care providers. The report also identifies specific, actionable recommendations to improve child care in the region. Networks Northwest partnered with Lansing‐based Public Sector Consultants (PSC) to conduct the comprehensive review which focused on child care as an economic development issue.
The report indicates there are strengths in the current child care system, but it often fails to effectively serve families and support providers. Stakeholder interviews and available data suggest that the system also comes up short when meeting local business needs.
In Northwest Lower Michigan the cost of child care often exceeds families’ budgets. The average cost of home based care in the region for an infant and a preschooler is nearly $14,000 a year, which is more than the average mortgage payment and similar to tuition costs at an average public university.