Schools and childcare centers would get lead-free water filters under bills passed in the Senate

BY: - September 26, 2022

Two bills that streamline improving water quality in schools and childcare centers passed the Michigan Senate last week. The bills would install lead-free water filters and develop other water safety plans to be implemented in schools and childcare centers.  Senate Bills 184 and 185 were introduced by Sens. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington) and Jim Ananich (D-Flint). […]

Nessel hears northern Michigan concerns about childcare, mental health and more

BY: - August 18, 2022

During a one-hour listening session in Traverse City, Attorney General Dana Nessel heard about a variety of issues and concerns from the United Way of Northwest Michigan (UWNM). Seth Johnson, UWNM president, said it was important to connect with Nessel, who requested the meeting. The nonprofit covers seven counties: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, […]


Rick Haglund: State economic development should put people and communities first

BY: - July 18, 2022

Michigan has two basic economic problems: not enough working adults to fill plentiful jobs, and wide swaths of distressed urban and rural neighborhoods where good jobs are out of reach for their residents. Tim Bartik says Michigan needs a radical new economic development approach that will connect more people to jobs, strengthen neighborhoods and promote […]

‘Get with the program, or we vote you out’

BY: - June 15, 2022

Wiping sweat from foreheads under a relentless June sun, the speakers at Mothering Justice’s 10th annual “Mama’s March” — mothers and lawmakers and reproductive health leaders and activists — took to the podium Wednesday outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. There, they turned towards the Capitol, a towering mountain of brick and sandstone, and issued […]

Experts: Loss of COVID relief could lead to increased hardship for low-income families

BY: - June 8, 2022

The pandemic has been marked by economic hardship, as tens of millions of people lost work due to the uncertain and changing circumstances of COVID-19.  As Americans have coped with the effects of the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau began conducting a survey to measure how households were impacted. Part of the data included whether […]


Column: An investment in moms is an investment in Michigan

BY: - May 25, 2022

Earlier this month, I celebrated Mother’s Day with two of our three sons and all four of our grandsons. While there was much joy on that day, I was thinking of the challenges that many moms in Michigan face. And the opportunities to improve things for moms and their kids in Michigan. We are in […]

Whitmer pushes for more investment in women, families with state surplus funds

BY: - March 22, 2022

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is prioritizing economic prosperity for women and families in Michigan as she kicks off her reelection campaign for the midterm election in November. “When women do better, Michigan does better,” Whitmer told the Advance Monday during a Zoom interview. “At the age of 31, I was taking care of my mom, who […]

‘I could not stop crying’: Why postpartum depression rates have soared during the pandemic

BY: - March 20, 2022

When Kara Smith thinks of her pregnancy during the pandemic, there’s a word that seems to surface more than others: isolation.  Other words come, too, words like panic and anxiety, but it’s the loneliness that seems to permeate her language the most.  Which makes sense — Smith, a nurse who lives in Farwell, a small […]

Report: Childcare workforce at ‘crisis’ level of staff shortages 

BY: - February 14, 2022

Michigan’s early childhood workforce has reached “crisis levels” of staffing shortages due to a lack of state support and low compensation, according to a report this month from the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP), Kids Count in Michigan and Think Babies Michigan.  Childcare workers in the state are among the lowest wage earners in […]

In Dearborn, Congressional Dems highlight Build Back Better Act’s early childhood investments

BY: - November 9, 2021

A group of U.S. House Democrats toured Wayne Metro Community Action Agency’s Early Head Start Program in Dearborn on Monday and highlighted the importance of critical early childhood investments included in the President Joe Biden-led Build Back Better Act. “It’s always a refreshing day when you spend time with children,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell […]

‘Filter first’ school water bills get warm bipartisan reception at Senate hearing 

BY: - October 26, 2021

A set of bipartisan bills to ensure clean drinking water in schools and child care centers heard favorable testimony Tuesday before a Michigan Senate committee, where the legislation is expected to undergo further changes before being voted on. Senate Bills 184 and 185 were first introduced in late February by state Sens. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington) […]

There are a lot of plans to improve childcare in Michigan. Here’s what they do.

BY: - October 18, 2021

Carrie Anderson, owner and director of Morning Star Child Care in Dexter, has worked in the childcare industry for over 25 years. While she loves her job, she has grappled with some of the perils that come along with the industry: low wages, insufficient amounts of staffing and making it affordable for parents.   Now there […]