Kristen McDonald Rivet, Former CEO of Greater Midland, Calls for Lowering Childcare Costs

McDonald Rivet champions plan to increase daycare affordability: “Something has to be done to strengthen our childcare system in Michigan.”

Kristen McDonald Rivet, Former CEO of Greater Midland, Calls for Lowering Childcare Costs

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Kristen McDonald Rivet — the former President and CEO of Greater Midland, a nonprofit network of family and recreation centers — is calling for measures that would lower childcare costs in Michigan.

“Something has to be done to strengthen our childcare system in Michigan,” said McDonald Rivet.

McDonald Rivet’s calls for more affordable childcare echoes that of other Michigan leaders. Earlier this year, Governor Gretchen Whitmer expanded the MI Tri-Share Child Care Pilot Program, a public-private partnership that works with employers, families, and providers to increase access to high-quality daycare.

McDonald Rivet voiced her support for a plan in Leelanau County to make it easier for people to start new childcare businesses. Currently, Michigan law prohibits individual providers from operating daycares anywhere but in their own homes; the proposal that McDonald Rivet championed would allow “home-based” providers to operate out of other approved sites, including Leelanau County childcare facilities that are currently going unused.

The goal is to reduce startup costs for qualified individuals who want to open daycares, which would increase options and therefore affordability for Michiganders, 44% of whom currently live in “childcare deserts,” according to Emily Laidlaw, the director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Child Care Licensing Bureau.

Following her five years at Greater Midland, McDonald Rivet became vice president at the nonpartisan nonprofit Michigan Future. She previously served as Vice President of Program and Policy for the Skillman Foundation, where she focused on education reform and youth-centered initiatives, and as one of the chief architects of the Michigan Department of Education’s Great Start, which works to support and improve early childhood programs.