State Rep. Greg Markkanen today testified on a plan creating a more effective, higher-quality child-care system for Michigan families desperately in need of services.
The bipartisan plan before the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee continues to prioritize a high level of care while ensuring children are safe in a reformed system. The proposals also provide much-needed flexibility to better support providers who depend on adequate resources to deliver reliable care.
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.
“I have spoken to many families who make it clear that this is a major issue,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “Care takes up a large chunk of their budgets. Many hard-working people can’t always get reliable care for their child as it’s often harder to find in rural areas. They have to make choices about their careers when they can’t get that reliable care. It can be a big hassle, and this plan will make needed updates to address their concerns.”
Markkanen’s proposal, House Bill 5046, gives care providers 90 days to implement new rules from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the 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.
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 and HB 5293, remains under consideration in the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee.
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Greg Markkanen (right), of Hancock, provides testimony on a bipartisan plan establishing a more effective, higher-quality child-care system for Michigan families on Tuesday, Sept. 21 before the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee.
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