People, Places and Struggles: The Priceless Care of Our Children

Journalist Amy Lane examines the very real challenges facing child care centers and families in northern lower Michigan.

At a time when many child care providers closed during the pandemic and never reopened – and those that are open may house long waiting lists – there’s heightened attention to the importance and challenges of a sector underpinning society and economy, in northern Michigan and beyond.

Child care providers have been among those aided by Venture North Funding & Development, through consulting, loans, or Regional Resiliency Program grants that helped small businesses survive the pandemic and rebound. Learn more about the challenges and dedication of those at early childhood’s grassroots, the owners and directors of businesses that are about the future of our families, communities and economy. Journalist Amy Lane offers insight and stories that are at the heart of this critical issue in this month’s Northern Lights. Read the below excerpt and then head over to our website to read more today.

From the Venture North “Northern Lights” e-newsletter:

Run by owners passionate about helping children, families and communities, the businesses educate and care for young ones in their most critical phase of development, operating many times on thin margins and challenged to find staff – and even public acknowledgement – of the significance of the work that they do.

“I think that the pandemic has shone a spotlight on them,” said Mary Manner, co-coordinator of the Great Start Collaborative of Traverse Bay, the region’s early childhood initiative. “It made people have to confront that reality, that child care is an essential part of our economy. Because without child care, people can’t go to work. Or if they do go to work, they have cobbled together some system of care that is not in the best interest of the child.”

Tim Ervin
Venture North Funding and Development
+1 231-794-0089

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