The Michigan House today overwhelmingly approved legislation from state Rep. Greg Markkanen to help improve the state’s child-care system.
The plan is part of several bipartisan bills prioritizing effective care and greater flexibility as people throughout Michigan look for a child-care system that is more compatible to their needs. The proposals also support providers who depend on adequate resources to deliver reliable care.
“This is a major issue for many hard-working people across the U.P. and in rural areas. There is often not reliable care readily available and it leaves parents in a tough spot,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “This bipartisan plan puts the needs of families first and I am pleased to see it advancing through the Legislature.”
Markkanen’s proposal, House Bill 5046, gives care providers 90 days to implement new rules from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and Department of Health and Human Services – unless there is an immediate federal obligation or risk to health and safety as determined by the state. The bill gives providers a practical window to adjust so they can continue to offer quality care and address costs that may arise from changes. Markkanen said getting rid of red tape will help many providers in the U.P. as a high percentage are located in-home.
Other common-sense regulatory reforms in the legislative package include measures such as a safe path for providers to locate in multi-use buildings to expand access to where families live and work, allowing providers to share certain health and safety records online to help parents access information, enhanced reporting requirements and more concise regulation to let high-quality providers thrive while bad actors are held accountable.
State research has shown that 75 percent of children in Michigan live in areas with limited access to child-care. In addition, 10 Michigan counties do not currently have licensed slots at centers that serve children younger than 30 months.
The legislative plan, which includes House Bills 5041-48, now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
Rep. Markkanen talks about the 63-foot spruce donated by the Fletcher family in Marenisco Township in his district that is making its way to the state Capitol to serve as Michigan’s official Christmas tree. The tree will arrive in Lansing Saturday and will be lit in ceremonies on November 19.
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