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Governor, lawmakers may have deal on child care

Proposals would help fund daycare while making it easier for providers.

State leaders think they have come to an agreement that could make child care cheaper for parents while also clearing away some hurdles that prevent people from opening up new centers.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer appeared Tuesday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to unveil the proposals. It comes on the heels of a Monday announcement that the governor wants to spend $1.4 billion in federal aid money on child care.

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The new proposals would cover a lot of ground. They would allow child care providers to operate in new locations that previously hadn’t been open to them – for example, strip malls. They would make moves toward increasing services in so-called “child care deserts” – areas with no existing child care providers.

“The problem is that there are simply not nearly enough childcare opportunities that meet the needs of our Michigan families,” said Whitmer.

Representative Jack O’Malley, R-Lake Ann, is one of the lawmakers behind the package of bills.

“The issue is not new. It has been getting worse for years as all providers, but especially in-home, have found it harder to stay in business,” he said.

The bills are expected to be introduced in the state legislature yet this week.

You can read more on Michigan Radio.

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