ESSENTIAL WORKFORCE

CHILD CARE REQUEST

Governor Whitmer reached out to intermediate school districts, regional educational service agencies and local districts across the state to expand the capacity for child care services which support members of the essential workforce during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. 

Those in the essential workforce provide critical infrastructure to Michiganders including health care workers, home health workers, direct care workers, emergency medical service providers, first responders, law enforcement personnel, sanitation workers, child care workers, personnel providing correctional services, postal workers, public health employees, key government employees and court personnel. 

If you are identified as an essential worker as outlined in Executive Order 2020-16, you can find help in two ways:

  1. Call the statewide assistance number 2-1-1 or go to www.helpmegrow-mi.org and submit your child care needs.
  2. Once your information has been collected, a local representative will contact you within 24-48 hours to assist in finding an open child care facility with the capacity to address your child care needs.

Child care locations and offerings may be different depending on the needs in each community. Open child care sites must follow protocols that will protect public health and follow regulatory guidelines put in place by Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Public health protocols for these programs include, but are not limited to, small class sizes with the same participants and staff in each room, sick rooms/containment spaces for students or personnel that become sick, and intensified, deep cleaning every day to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Questions and Answers

How will 'essential workers' request care?

The following statewide website has been established in order for essential workers to complete a short questionnaire pertaining to their unmet child care needs: https://www.helpmegrow-mi.org/essential.  You may also call 2-1-1 and they will take your information over the phone. This information will then be shared locally to assist in finding a child care provider.   

Who are "essential workers?"

Per the Governor's Executive Order, they are defined as follows: “Essential workforce” includes health care workers, home health workers, direct care workers, emergency medical service providers, first responders, law enforcement personnel, sanitation workers, child care workers (including workers at disaster relief child care centers), personnel providing correctional services, postal workers, public health employees, key government employees, court personnel, school employees and others providing critical infrastructure to Michiganders. 

Is the child care for essential workers "free"? 

The Executive Order contained no state funding to any entity for the provision of emergency child care.  Workers seeking care must make payment arrangements with their chosen child care provider just like in any normal situation.

Do child care providers have flexible schedules?

Child care centers may set their own schedules. You can certainly ask your provider if they can work extended hours depending on the type of industry you are in. They understand that many health care workers are on 12 hour shifts.