Two campaigns that we are organizing under our new gender equity program are increasing the investment in subsidized child care in the Michigan state budget and advocating for a study bill on aging and long term care.
Child Care and Early Childhood Education
We are asking for the entry threshold to Michigan’s subsidized child care program to be raised to 150% of the poverty line, and for this to be accompanied by a $44 million dollar increase in the program, in order to provide access for the new families who would qualify.
Available data suggest that there is a huge need for more subsidized child care in Michigan. When researchers looked at the number of families with children living at 185 percent of the poverty threshold in defining high need, and also looked at families where all available parents were employed, they found that there are 145,000 children from birth to age 3 in Michigan who could benefit from subsidized child care. State data indicate that only 19,292 children from birth to age three received subsidy support from the Child Development and Care program in April 2014. This suggests a significant unmet need for subsidized child care. (Data from a November 2014 study by the Public Sector Consultants and Citizens Research Council of Michigan)
Furthermore, funding for subsidized child care has drastically decreased in Michigan. According to the Michigan League for Public Policy, total child care spending fell from $479 million in 2005 to just $136 million in 2014—a reduction of over 70%.
Long Term Care
We are asking for our state legislature to fund a study on aging, our current long term care systems, worker compensation, and possible solutions for the future. This campaign is in partnership with Caring Across Generations.
According to a 2013 US Census, Michigan is tied with only one other state for having the most counties with a median age over 50 and our population is generally aging at a faster rate than that of many other states.
- The Census Bureau listed Michigan as the 10th oldest state nationwide with the age group of 65 to 74 growing the fastest. As this aging trend continues, individuals and families will face difficult choices about long-term care.