CCGSC holds Early Education Legislative Coffee event with Markkanen and McBroom

Child care providers and state lawmakers gathered Friday.
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 8:15 PM EST
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Child care providers and state lawmakers gathered Friday at the Copper Country Intermediate School District building for the first Early Child Education Legislative Coffee event.

The Copper Country Great Start Collaborative (CCGSC) organization hosted the event.

It is a group of early childhood educators and providers that aim to improve child care in the area.

“Today was just about telling our policymakers about the work that we’ve been doing,” said CCGSC Director Iola Brubaker. “And making sure they’re aware of some of the challenges our community faces related to early childhood and families.”

Brubaker says the collaborative has been making strides in care such as bringing investments into early literacy and child abuse and neglect prevention.

But challenges still remain, including a lack of child care staff and mental health, dental and eye providers.

“One of the other things we talked about is some of the economic differences of living in the U.P. vs. living in a larger population area downstate,” continued Brubaker. “We have a lower median income, and sometimes we have higher costs, which affects our families.”

Representative Greg Markkanen (R-110th State House District) and Senator Ed McBroom (R-38th State Senate District) both expressed the importance of meetings like this as a way to keep them informed and deliver that information to the state.

“Gatherings like keep us informed locally so we can carry it back to Lansing and make an impact there with the U.P legislative team and the rest of our colleagues,” said Markkanen.

“Some of these take a lot longer and a lot more meetings,” said McBroom. “And some are issues that the representative and I can go right back to Lansing next week and start digging into why this is happening and what’s the way to fix this.”

The CCGSC hopes to hold a meeting like this with legislators annually.