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Michigan Education Department puts $4 million federal grant to use

Gautam Arora

Michigan is receiving $4 million to help improve access to early child development programs in the state.

The money comes from the federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5)program.

Joy Milano is the PDG B-5 project manager for the Michigan Department of Education.

She said the grant aims to address inequities within the early childhood care system.

“It’s really focused on ensuring that the children who often have the most challenges getting access to programs and services can get the access that they need and can make informed decisions about accessing early childhood programs and services,” Milano said.

Some of Michigan’s grant money will go toward a workforce study to find current gaps in service.

The state also hopes to research a competitive wage scale for childcare workers.

Milano said an overall goal is smoothing out a fragmented system by bringing stakeholders together and letting families know what resources are available.

“It’s very community driven which is wonderful to address those community needs and to ensure that the communities can address their own group of people and their own regions in the way that they need. But it also can become kind of fragmented as each community is carrying forward its work,” Milano said.

The state received an initial PDG B-5 grant in 2018 to conduct some primary planning and assessments. In 2019, it received a three year renewal grantto help it implement those goals.

This current grant will last through the end of the year.

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