Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently issued an executive order to expand child care services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Order 2020-16, which authorizes employers to operate disaster relief child care centers for employees and for public and nonpublic schools to open facilities focused on aiding the essential workforce.
“The Grand Rapids Chamber appreciates the emphasis placed on child care during these difficult times,” the chamber said in a statement. “Child care is a major barrier to workforce development and this only escalates in times of crisis, especially for our essential workforce.”
Per the executive order, those in the essential workforce include 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, court personnel and others providing critical infrastructure to the state.
Those in the essential workforce can visit helpmegrow-mi.org/essential to find care options.
In addition to the executive order, a survey has been rolled out for existing child care providers to get an accurate read on child care availability at this time.
The Grand Rapids Chamber encourages all providers to complete the survey for Michigan to have the latest data to inform efforts.