Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed Michigan’s FY2019 budget with increased investments in policies and programs for young children.
As business leaders from across the state, the Children’s Leadership Council of Michigan (CLCM) knows the power of these early investments for Michigan’s children, families, employers, and communities.
The CLCM continued its tradition of supporting a child-focused, research-based agenda that works for Michigan. At the center of this agenda was support for Michigan’s state-funded preschool program, the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). CLCM members and staff met with policymakers to review current research and answer questions about program outcomes. In the FY2019 budget, lawmakers maintained funding for GSRP at $243.9 million. Now, nearly 40,000 four-year-olds from families with low income benefit from a preschool program that works.
In addition, the CLCM continued its advocacy for high-quality, affordable child care. The CLCM alerted lawmakers to the historic increases in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and worked with advocates and policymakers to develop and prioritize policy options for investing these new funds. In the FY2019 budget, lawmakers leveraged a portion of this increase to change how the state pays child care providers from hourly to biweekly. Lawmakers also increased overall spending on the child care subsidy to reflect increased enrollment in the program. The state now invests $162 million in the subsidy, and these investments are helping more Michigan parents enter the workforce.
Additionally, lawmakers invested in early intervention and data collection. For the first time, lawmakers invested state dollars in Michigan’s early intervention system, called Early On. The CLCM joined many supporters to advocate for this $5 million investment. Lawmakers also increased funding for the kindergarten entry observation by $500,000—increasing Michigan’s overall investment to $1.5 million.
As the CLCM celebrates these wins for young children, staff and members are already looking ahead to the FY2020 budget. The CLCM is making the case for early investment by reaching out to all 639 candidates running for state legislative and executive office. In addition to engaging future champions, the CLCM is partnering with advocates and policymakers to identify the most effective strategies for investing CCDBG funding. The CLCM believes by building momentum and outlining a clear path forward, Michigan can continue to make important strides for young children and families.
Vice President, Public Sector Consultants
The Center for Michigan and Public Sector Consultants are honored to staff and support the Children’s Leadership Council of Michigan.
(July 17, 2018)