Wexford/Missaukee Collaborative Receives ChildCare Innovation Fund Grant

[Cadillac, MI] The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) announced yesterday that the Alliance for Economic Success, on behalf of a core team of education, business, and community organizations in Wexford and Missaukee Counties, was selected as one of eleven Child Care Innovation Awards round two grantees from across Michigan.

The core team (Lisa Miller, Alliance for Economic Success, Executive Director; Nicole Schultz, Great Start Collaborative – Wexford, Missaukee, Manistee Counties, Director; Caitlyn Berard, Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce, President; Doreen Lanc, Cadillac Area Community Foundation, Executive Director) applied for a grant from the ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund when the Innovation Awards application opened in March 2022.  The group was inspired by a series of informal, cross-sector “Cadillac Child Care Conversations” that took place in early 2022 and sought to strategically frame and support high-quality childcare as infrastructure essential to the current and future health of the greater Cadillac Area economy. 

The Innovation Award of $63,000 (awarded through ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund) will support the launch of a Cadillac Area Child Care Accelerator. The Accelerator seeks to support families, businesses, and child care providers by providing:

  • Business and Industry with a child care benefits navigator 
  • Community leaders with the data necessary inform the development of a multi-sector childcare infrastructure strategy
  • Child-care providers with a curated resource network that unites business operations, licensing, professional development/training, and curriculum supports

Lisa Miller, Executive Director for the Alliance for Economic Success is excited to collaborate with other organizations to launch the Accelerator, which will serve Wexford and Missaukee Counties. “Within these two counties, approximately 64% of families with children under the age of 6 and 75% of families with children between 6-17 years of age have all parents in the workforce, making high-quality, affordable child care an essential aspect of our local economy. We’re grateful for this opportunity to ensure that families, industry, and childcare providers have the resources needed to achieve their goals.” 

Planning for the accelerator will begin this month. The Innovation Award runs June 1, 2022 through May 31, 2023.