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Lt. Gov. Gilchrist visits Grand Rapids childcare center

Lt. Governor Gilchrist visits The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education in Grand Rapids.
David Limbaugh
Lt. Governor Gilchrist visits The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education in Grand Rapids.

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist visited a Grand Rapids childcare center today to highlight Governor Whitmer’s budget proposals that would expand childcare and provide free pre-K education for families

Gilchrist toured The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education and read a book to a group of toddlers, later explaining the necessity of childcare facilities.

“They create value on so many levels. They provide an immediate impact on children and families ensuring that every young person who is able to walk through those doors can meet their milestones and meet them sooner and exceed them.”

In her recently proposed budget, Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to include free childcare for childcare workers. The 3-year pilot program is designed to boost state support for local providers by 10%. In her State of the State address, the governor also proposed a plan to provide free pre-K education for every 4-year-old in the next budget, saving Michigan families an estimated average of $10,000 a year.

Gilchrist says it’s about giving some peace-of-mind to working families.

“To know that there’s an easy solution that’s available to you regardless of where you are, regardless of your station or circumstance is, that takes a tremendous burden off of parents, not just financially.”

Jennifer Kane is a parent who has struggled to find affordable childcare for her son.

“If we could have more affordable care here wherever a child wants to go and a parent feels is the best place for them, that would be so helpful because at the end of the day it’s my child and want him to have the best.”

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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