March 21, 2022

FCF Announces Michigan RCCIP Communities

First Children’s Finance – Michigan Team is pleased to announce the selection of communities into the Rural Child Care Innovation Program. The Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP) is a community engagement process designed to address the challenges of child care in rural communities in Michigan. First Children’s Finance has chosen six new communities to participate in the 2022 application process: Arenac County, Cass County, Benzie County, Houghton County, Manistee County and Schoolcraft County. Additional communities and applicants will also receive support in their efforts to address rural child care.

James Henderson, Michigan Director for First Children’s Finance, says “We are excited and looking forward to supporting the selected communities in their efforts to address child care with the Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP), a proven process to identify solutions through community engagement.”

Maggie Bacon, Core Team Member in Benzie County and Coordinator for BEST Benzie County, says “The BEST Benzie County cradle to career educational network is thrilled Benzie County was selected for the Rural Child Care Innovation Program. It is those years of care and nurturing – from birth to kindergarten – that sets the stage for children to embrace life-long learning that ultimately leads to a thriving and healthy community with long-term economic viability. Today, only a fraction of the families needing those services in Benzie County are able to access them.  We are looking forward to the day, in the not too distant future, where child care slots are available for any Benzie County child who needs one.”

The Rural Child Care Innovation Program is based on the fundamental idea that mobilizing rural communities can increase the supply of child care. The selected communities will complete a community engagement process that will include brainstorming of solutions to the child care shortage, utilizing existing assets, and creating new partnerships within the community. Core Teams in each of the selected communities have begun meeting in February and March 2022. Community members will be invited to provide feedback and input on the child care plan and help to develop solutions at a Town Hall Meeting hosted in each individual community.

For more information on this project please contact James Henderson, Michigan Director for First Children’s Finance.

This project is supported by the Michigan Preschool Development Grant, award number 90TP0055-02-00, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.