Important Information: New Law Allows Home-Based Child Care Providers to Serve More Children

Posted on July 21, 2022 by Dene Westbrook

PA 106 of 2022 (HB 5041) allows home-based child care providers that have a proven record of success to serve more children. A family home provider will be eligible to serve seven children, instead of six. A group home provider will be eligible to serve 14 children, instead of 12.

Child care staffing shortages throughout the state have made it difficult to find caregivers for our young children and have had a significant impact on working families. These factors were the driving force behind this policy change.

For the home-based provider to be eligible for increased capacity, the child care home must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • Hold a current license.
  • Have been licensed to operate for at least 29 consecutive months.
  • Have provided child care services for 1 or more unrelated minor children during the licensed period.
  • Have received a renewed regular license after at least 29 months of licensed operation.

If child care home meet this requirement, the may request an increase in capacity and a variance to the personnel to child ratio by completing the form titled Family and Group Home Increased Capacity and Ratio Request and submitting it to the department. The local unit of government is not involved in this process.

It is important that cities and villages across Michigan are aware of this change though as it may create a conflict with your local ordinances on home-based child care. Communities should be consulting with there legal counsel and reviewing your ordinance to see if it identifies the 1-6, 7-12 capacities specified in the definitions rather than referencing the states definition.

This review will help identify if any changes need to be made to your local ordinances and avoid confusion when interacting with home-based child care providers that are permitted uses vs those that may need a special use permit or extra site plan requirements.

If there is a conflict, communities, in consultation with their legal counsel, should consider updating their ordinances to reflect the new capacities stipulated in statute, or reference the states definition which could help avoid future changes to the ordinance should the state modify the definition in the future.

We are working with the Department of Health and Human Services on this issue to help ensure a smooth transition to the increased capacities and will provide any additional information as it becomes available.

John LaMacchia is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0303.

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