Pilot Program Places Taxpayers On the Hook for Little one Care – Michigan Capitol Confidential

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Now activists and a state senator want to expand it

Activists are urging lawmakers to expand a Michigan pilot program that has taxpayers pay for child care costs.

The Tri-Share Child Care Program, as the name suggests, involves three parties who pay for child care. Employers, eligible employees and the state of Michigan pay equal shares for the cost of child support. An FAQ page describes the program as “an innovative approach to increasing access to high quality, affordable child care for working families.”

Supporters aiming to bring the program to the University of Michigan held a rally May 19 on the university’s Dearborn campus.

The pilot program operates in 52 counties in Michigan as well as the city of Detroit. Many public sector organizations participate, such as school districts and transit authorities, as well as private businesses and nonprofit organizations.

State Sen. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, sponsored an amendment to a state budget bill for the next fiscal year, which added $2.5 million to cover the costs of the program.

Employees’ eligibility is based on income and household size. The income of participating employees must be between 185% and 300% of the federal poverty line. And they can’t be eligible for the state’s Child Development and Care Program.

A two-person household would need to have an annual income between $33,873 and $54,930 to be eligible.

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