SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) – The Shiawassee County Child Care Tri-Share Center pilot program is working to break down the barrier of parents unable to find accessible and affordable child care .
Justin Horvath of the County Economic Development Partnership says costs for families needing childcare will drop significantly, with each party only having to pay a portion of the hourly childcare fee.
“With this program, they’ll only have to pay $2 an hour, which is a big plus,” Horvath said.
The program works by splitting the cost of child care among employers, their employees, and a $350,000 grant fund from the state of Michigan.
“It’s really going to save the company several $100,000 over the course of this grant and so it’s definitely going to be a big grant for the period,” Horvath said.
Horvath says it’s a way to increase talent recruitment and job retention in the county, as well as give child care providers the opportunity to expand their services.
“We are actively working with several providers right now to increase the space in their facilities so that we can add workers, which will open up more windows for these parents,” he said.
Providers like Elite Early Learning Centre, where director Kendra Nichols, says having secured funding will make it easier for both parents and workers.
“I think in all aspects, being able to help parents, employers, and then also, basically the economy, being able to retain talent is certainly of great importance,” Nichols said.
For organizations that sign up to offer Tri-share to their employees by July 1, the first 500 hours of childcare will be free.
For tax-exempt organizations, the Tri-Share pilot program is available at a reduced hourly employer contribution rate.