house resolution no.163

Reps. Coffia, Arbit, Conlin, McKinney, Hope, Rheingans, Brabec, Stone, Coleman, Brixie, Hood and Hill offered the following resolution:

A resolution to urge the United States Congress to pass Senate Bill 2777, the Child Care Stabilization Act.

Whereas, The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was passed in 2021 and included nearly 24 billion dollars to stabilize child care centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 15 billion dollars in child care and development block grants, and over 3.5 billion dollars in grants for child care assistance. Michigan received 1.4 billion dollars in federal child care funding through ARPA and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. However, on September thirtieth, much of the critical child care funding provided through ARPA ceased. The scarcity of available federal resources is predicted to have devastating effects on families and the child care system as a whole. This lack of funding must be remedied by the passage of the Child Care Stabilization Act, which aims to provide grants that would help make child care services more accessible to families and support the stability and quality of child care providers; and

Whereas, Without federal support, child care programs may be forced to close in Michigan and across the United States. Access to child care is already a prominent issue in Michigan with 44 percent of residents living in a child care desert, meaning there are at least three times as many children as licensed child care providers. A 2020 study found there were only child care openings for about 31 percent of the 560,000 Michigan children under six years old that needed child care. With the end of ARPA funding, more than 1,200 child care programs are projected to close in Michigan, leaving more than 56,000 children at risk of losing their child care. Nationally, 3.2 million children are at risk of losing care; and

Whereas, The loss of federal funds will likely hurt state economies by causing a loss in economic activity, tax revenues, employer productivity, employment, and earnings. Millions of parents are projected to be impacted by the loss of child care by being forced to leave the workforce or reduce their work hours. This could cost families in the United States 9 billion dollars each year in lost earnings. In 2019, just over 9.4 percent of parents in the U.S., including 14 percent of Michigan parents, reported that child care issues caused significant disruptions to their employment. A Michigan study from 2023 reported a much higher rate of nearly 32 percent. Fourteen percent of Michigan parents from that study reportedly left a job in the last six months in order to provide their own child care; and

Whereas, Federal funding is critical not only for American families but also for child care providers. ARPA funds were used to pay child care workers higher wages to attract additional staff members and prevent staff turnover. The increase to wages was vital for many child care workers, whose average annual wage is around 28,000 dollars. Over 60 percent of child care workers struggle to pay for food and utilities each month. Once the federal funds ran out, some child care workers had to work additional jobs or leave child care entirely to support their families; and

Whereas, Some child care providers used ARPA funds to provide tuition assistance to families. States, tribes, and territories also used the money to help low-income families and essential workers cover child care costs. On average, American families spend between 5,000 dollars and 17,000 dollars, roughly between 8 and 19 percent of their income, on child care every year. As the cost of child care continues to rise, the federal government must step in and provide resources to support the child care system and the millions of children that it serves; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we urge the United States Congress to pass Senate Bill 2777, the Child Care Stabilization Act; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of Michiganís congressional delegation.