A community-centered solution to Emmet County's child care shortage
The undersupply of child care in rural Northern Michigan is a systemic issue that impacts parents, prospective parents, local employers and child care providers alike. America's child care system, long devalued, is underfunded and now unsustainable in Emmet County and nationwide — yet we know that quality, affordable, reliable child care is essential for the economic stability of all families.
Launched in 2022 with support from the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, the Frey Foundation, and the NCMC Foundation, North Central's Child Care Initiative (CCI) is leading the development of a community-centered plan for a sustainable, viable local child care system in Emmet County, Michigan.
Our Vision: A high-quality, accessible early care and education system that is supported through community connections
A Phased Approach to Stabilization, Sustainability
An Action Team is formed, comprised of NCMC Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator Jennifer Wixson, a research program coordinator and a data analyst.
Community input collected from surveys, focus groups and interviews informs a proposed set of evidence- and community-based innovations that address the following impact areas.
5 Impact Areas:
- Affordability of care
- Accessibility of care
- Capacity of the local child care network
- Workforce opportunities and increased wages for new/existing child care workers
- Quality of care for all children
Planning, research and outreach work is conducted to thoroughly vet the proposed innovations for potential impact and feasibility, and to assure alignment and optimal phasing across each. Innovations that address two or more of the impacts listed above will be prioritized, along with innovations that can be managed and financially maintained long-term.
Phase II consists of the implementation and evaluation of the local innovations identified in Phase I.
say their employees struggle to find child care.
spends more than $1,000 per month on child care.
worry their income won't cover their monthly bills.
Phase I Data Report
Surveying Emmet County's Child Care LandscapeWe held focus groups and collected survey responses from 96 business leaders, 271 parents and prospective parents, and 25 child care providers who live or work in Emmet County.
Catalog of Child Care Business Innovations, Resources & Tools
A Living Resource For Child Care ProfessionalsWe designed this compilation to assist child care professionals with finding support related to enrollment, facilities, revenue, staffing, quality/advocacy/data, and general business operations.