Governor Whitmer, the elected state Republicans, and Democrats all decided to pay $1,000 taxpayer-funded bonuses totaling $350 million to all eligible Michigan child care workers.
Because of “their incredible sacrifices over the last 18 months”. I am confused because many parents were home over the last 18 months thus childcare services were not needed at the level they were before the pandemic.
I am in no way disparaging childcare workers, they are taking care of our most precious gifts and our incredible assets to our communities. I am simply pointing out facts and asking questions.
In a news release Gov. Whitmer said:
“Child care is the backbone of a strong economy and childcare professionals and programs go above and beyond every day to care for our kids, helping them learn and grow in a safe environment”
I completely agree with that.
In that same press release Laurie Fletcher, owner of a home-based childcare provider in Grand Rapids stated:
"This investment will help to provide a lifeline to sustain the childcare programs that every community needs to help Michigan's families return to and remain in their workplaces."
Do not disagree that every community needs these services but it is incumbent on the taxpayer to directly fund these private companies and their employees?
Again in that same news release by Gov. Whitmer, Kimberly Zehnder, owner of EduPlay Discovery Center in Frankenmuth stated:
"Childcare professionals are trusted to help our youngest children learn and grow, but their compensation doesn't reflect the value they bring to our children and communities. Most teacher's assistants make a little over minimum wage because that is all that the programs can afford. I'm grateful these grants include bonus pay for childcare professionals because they work very hard caring for our littlest learners. Parents need us so that they can keep working, and it breaks my heart to hear of good programs closing, and parents unable to find care”
I agree with Kimberly’s sentiments but again I ask the question is it incumbent on the taxpayer to directly fund these private companies and their employees?
According to the news release this Child Care Stabilization Grant application is now open. Licensed childcare providers are eligible to apply at Michigan.gov/childcare.
What other private companies and their employees should we directly fund through our tax dollars?
How about radio station employees, specifically those who drove to their offices and studios and worked the entire time during the pandemic to inform Michiganders about the news of the day?
Where do I apply for a taxpayer-funded bonus?