BARRIERS TO CHILD CARE FOR YPSILANTI PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
By Young Chan Lim
Michigan, like many states, faces a child care crisis. There are at least four children under 12 for every available opening at a child care center in the state. Some analyses suggest that these numbers underestimate the problem and that when accounting for both the number of child care spots a center is licensed to provide and the number of spots that centers have staffing to support, the true picture of child care availability in Michigan is much more grim. Importantly, the challenges presented by the limited number of openings in child care centers are exacerbated by a range of other impediments, including the cost of child care and the need for back-up and emergency care.
The challenges of finding and affording child care has harmful effects on both individual families and the larger economy. In particular, access to high-quality care can be an important determinant of labor force participation for parents, and especially mothers, in the United States. These challenges became particularly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, when racial and economic disparities in access to child care widened. Disparities in access to child care at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to widening racial disparities in the labor market. Because of the broad implications of child care inaccessibility, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has expanded access to free or low-cost child care for Michigan families and allocated $2.4 million in Regional Child Care Planning Grants to enhance and expand child care infrastructure across the state.
In this brief, we examine parents’ experiences with child care in Ypsilanti (including both the city and township) and the child care-related issues they report are the most important.
Click here to read the full brief.