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Michigan Better Business

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					Van Buren County
Van Buren County Extension                        P: 269-657-8213               E-mail: msue.vanburen@county.msu.edu
219 E Paw Paw St., Suite 201                      F: 269-657-6678               Web: www.msue.msu.edu/VanBuren
Paw Paw, MI 49079-1077

                                                                                                                     November 2008
Childcare training helps develop
entrepreneurs and is an essential                                       Better Kid Care training is offered in a variety of
                                                                     formats in order to meet the needs of childcare
component to economic growth and                                     entrepreneurs. One-time two hour sessions offered
quality of life in Michigan                                          throughout the year in many locations allow
       High quality, affordable childcare services are               licensed day care providers and eligible relative
keys for Michigan’s economy, families and                            providers to get their annual professional
communities. Childcare services represent an                         development credits required by the state.
important economic development activity and                              Eighteen hour and 36 hour educational programs
industry in Michigan. About 670,000 children under                   get individuals started in the licensing process. A
the age of five live in Michigan, of which 2/3rds live               DVD lending library and on-line training program
in families where the only parent or both parents                     reach providers who have difficulty attending the
work outside the home.                                                face to face programs.
    An estimated 431,000 children need care from                         From October 2007 to date, 376 childcare
those other than their parents so their parents can                  providers, parents, and community members have
work or attend school. As well as being essential in                 attended or used Better Kid Care (BKC) offerings
many families, childcare is also a major expense with                in Van Buren, Allegan, Berrien, Cass, and
Michigan parents spending an estimated $2.1 billion                  Kalamazoo.
each year for childcare.                                                 Two Better Kid Care programs offered in the
    As part of a team of statewide educators whose                   last year include a youth babysitting class and
directive is to assist Michigan parents with high-                   a 36-hour licensing program. Both of these programs
quality day care for their children, Diana Hassan,                   resulted in new partnerships that will enable MSUE
Family and Consumer Science Educator in Van                          reach out to more individuals interesting in
Buren County is responsible for delivering childcare                 developing their skills and knowledge in childcare.
education classes for five counties in Southwest                         In June, 2008 a childcare basics program was
Michigan.                                                            organized in partnership with the Van Buren 4-H
    Better Kid Care is a free program available to                   youth development program and local schools.
currently licensed childcare business owners and their                  The program targeted young people looking for
employees, entrepreneurs looking to get trained to                   summer babysitting employment.
start a childcare business, relative care providers,                    Twelve youth participated in the daylong session,
grandparents and youth.                                              which included lessons and hands on practice in early
    MSU Extension in Van Buren County has been                       learning, health and safety, nutrition, positive
instrumental in developing teaching materials and                    discipline and appropriate play.
teaching the Better Kid Care program since 2006.                     Eight youth received additional training in adult,
                                                                     child, and infant CPR. All of them successfully
                                                                      completed the objectives and skill evaluation in

                                                                                                        Story continues on back…
                      Michigan State University Extension helps people improve their lives through an educational
                      process that applies knowledge to critical issues, needs and opportunities. Offices in
                      counties across the state link the research of the land-grant university, MSU, to challenges
                      facing communities. Citizens serving on county Extension councils regularly help select
                      focus areas for programming. MSU Extension is funded jointly by county boards of
                      commissioners, the state through Michigan State University and federally through the US
                      Department of Agriculture.
Childcare training continued

accordance with rules set forth by the American                         The positive feedback from participants and
Heart Association and received their certification                  Relationship that was built in planning the program
cards. All 12 participants agreed or strongly agreed                has resulted in that regional agency scheduling future
that they gained knowledge or skills, the information               BKC training programs with MSUE.
was useful, they will use this information to better                    The benefits of high quality care for children,
support children, and they would recommend this                     families and communities are well documented.
program to others.                                                      For children, we know that empirically the quality
    MSUE educators were pleased with the outcomes                    of childcare is strongly associated with child
of offering this program jointly and look forward to                development outcomes related to social skills,
offering more youth development programs in the                      language and communication skills, cognitive,
future.                                                             and long-term effects in later life.
    A new partnership with the Berrien, Cass,                           For families, providers who are competent and
Van Buren Michigan Works! resulted in a 36-hour                     dependable permit parents to work and become
 licensing training program reaching 14 Michigan                    partners with parents in their children’s development.
Works! Clients. Ten participants in the class                           For communities, it means an investment in
expressed an interest in starting their own businesses.             prevention, saving public funds for special education, health
    The program, held in October 2008, was marketed                 care and criminal justice costs.
By Michigan Works! to parents or anyone interested                      In addition, when parents are able to attain an
 in seeking employment in the childcare field.                      education and work, welfare costs are reduced and
   All 10 of the participants wanting to start a                     tax revenues are increased due to higher incomes.
licensed day-care in their home reported that they                  Conservative estimates show that for every public
 were confident that they would be able to receive                  dollar invested in early education and care, the public
a license after the 36-hour training program.                       receives a $2 return.
Evaluations revealed the following participant
comments:                                                                                              Contact: Diana Hassan
      “I really enjoyed the class and would
         recommend it highly to other individuals who
         are interested in childcare.”
      “I enjoyed the course. It provided lots of
         resource materials and hands-on training.”                        Van Buren County MSU Extension
      “ I learned quite a few things I did not know.”                 Julie Pioch, County Extension Director
      “It was a good learning experience.”                            Mark Longstroth, District Horticulture
      “It was very interesting.”                                      Diana Hassan, Family and Consumer Sciences
                                                                       Beth Clawson, Natural Resources
    The partnership with Michigan Works!, the state’s
                                                                       Mike Staton, Agriculture
employment agency, is key to helping Michigan
workers learn new skills and find new employment                       Janice Zerbe, 4-H Youth Development
in the childcare field.                                                Rebecca Majewski, Food & Nutrition Program
                                                                       Melissa Franklin, Support Staff


     Developing entrepreneurs
     Promoting healthy lifestyles
     Preparing for the expanding bioeconomy
     Educating and supporting decision makers
     Building leaders for today and tomorrow


MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open
to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political
beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of
May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East
Lansing, MI 48824.
ment of Agriculture. Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East
Lansing, MI 48824.

				
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