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Chamber Blog

Executive Order 2020-16 on Childcare Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Executive Order 2020-16 on Childcare Amid COVID-19 Crisis 1

The Grand Rapids Chamber appreciates the emphasis placed on childcare during these difficult times. Childcare is a major barrier to workforce development and this only escalates in times of crisis, especially for our essential workforce.

Executive Order 2020-16 authorizes employers to operate disaster relief child care centers for their employees and public and nonpublic schools to open facilities focused on aiding our essential workforce. 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 Michiganders.

Those in the essential workforce can visit www.helpmegrow-mi.org/essential to find care options in your community.

In addition to the Executive Order, a survey has been rolled out for existing childcare providers to get an accurate read on child care availability at this time. The Grand Rapids Chamber encourages all providers to complete the survey in order for Michigan to have the latest data to inform efforts. For providers, please find the survey here.

The GR Chamber encourages our local intermediate school districts (ISDs) to reach out to current childcare facilities to match supply to demand for our essential workers. It is imperative during these times that our childcare providers are lifted up and looked to as a first stop for our essential workforces’ childcare needs. Many providers across the state are experiencing declining enrollment, and we hope our local ISDs will work with those providers and other stakeholders in the community to reach capacity.

If and when we reach maximum capacity at our childcare facilities, it is our hope that all stakeholders- intermediate school districts, local education agencies, employers, early childhood educators, private and community-based childcare centers and licensed in-home providers- work together to coordinate efforts.

The Grand Rapids Chamber thanks our childcare providers and community partners for stepping up during this hard time.

We encourage all employers that choose to operate a disaster relief childcare center to follow all Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs requirements and guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact Alexa Kramer at 616.771.0311 or alexa@grandrapids.org.

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