During the early days of the pandemic, Michigan moved quickly to enact new policies to support child care providers and families. Each policy was designed to stabilize the child care marketplace and to make it possible for child care providers to remain solvent. Policies included allowing providers to bill for absent but enrolled children and for school-aged children participating in remote learning, providing grants to providers, and extending the redetermination period for families.

The results of new PPA analysis of state data suggests that the policy changes worked. “Our analysis suggests that Michigan’s efforts to blunt the impact of COVID-19 on child care providers had some success,” said Nathan Burroughs, Senior Research Associate. “After an initial decline, the number of families and providers participating in the child care assistance program stabilized. Importantly, we also did not find any decline in quality or differences in impact by race and ethnicity.”

You can read more about our findings in the brief.

PPA’s focus of the analysis was understanding the effect of the policy changes on the continuity of care (i.e., whether a child remained with the same provider), the quality of care received (as indicated by provider quality ratings), family use of the subsidy, and provider billing.

These findings are a part of a larger study on the impacts of child care assistance program policy changes funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The research is being conducted in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The study looks at the impact of these policy changes from the perspective of providers, caseworkers, and families. The full study findings are now available here.

For more information on this project and others focused on child care, please contact PPA chief operating officer Colleen Graber at cgraber@publicpolicy.com.