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Study highlights child care challenges in northern Michigan

Study highlights child care challenges in northern Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- A new report is highlighting the lack of accessible and affordable child care in northern Michigan.

It was done by Networks Northwest and Public Sector Consultants.

The study found that northern Michigan has lost 30 percent of child care providers in the past 7 years, but increased in population during that same time.

It also shows the average cost to have a preschooler and an infant in child care is about $14,000 a year, which is equivalent to tuition at a public university or a mortgage payment.

“This is really a starting point for a conversation, both public sector and private sector leadership need to recognize that this is an economic development issue, this isn’t a family issue,” said Networks Northwest CEO, Matt McCauley. “This is something that affects the quality of life and the economy of northwest lower Michigan.”

The report also makes recommendations to begin solving the issue.

It brings up regulatory reform to help relieve the burden on child care providers in the region, and strategies for small business owners to use with their own workforce as it relates to child care.

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