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Support your employees and gain a competitive advantage in the labor market.

Employers are facing staffing shortages like none we've seen in most of our lifetimes. A big portion of the reason our workforce isn't returning is due to childcare complications.

"Child care keeps Michigan working. Our members tell us child care is essential to having the talent West Michigan needs to thrive. That's why we were vocal supporters of Tri-Share and additional investments in child care." - Rick Baker, CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber.

Ready for School is excited to partner in this pilot program with Goodwill Industries of West Michigan to serve Ottawa County Businesses.

What is Tri-Share?

MI Tri-Share is a public/private partnership and pilot program partially funded by a state grant. Ottawa County employers can enroll to support their staff, retain talent and attract new talent by offering childcare at reduced rates for qualifying families. If an employee qualifies, the employee will pay 1/3 the cost of childcare, the employer will pay 1/3 the cost and the remaining third will be paid through the state grant.

Who qualifies for Tri-Share?

Any employer in the six county region (Ottawa, Muskegon, Lake, Oceana, Newaygo and Mason counties) is eligible to participate. *Employees are eligible if their household income is between 200% and 325% the federal poverty level and if they are seeking childcare for children between 0 and 12 years old, or for adults up to 26 years old with qualifying disabilities. See the table below for qualifying income ranges.

* Eligibility subject to change. Please check website:

A table of income qualifications based on household size.

How will my business benefit from participating?

Businesses benefit in six key areas:

  1. Access an untapped talent pool. Your business will have access to a pool of potential employees your competitors don't. Many families have to make the choice between staying in the workforce or staying at home with their young children because of the high cost of childcare. By easing the burden of childcare on employees your business will be able to bring these parents back into the workforce to be productive members of your team.

  2. Increase retention. By offering a unique benefit to parents, employees will be less likely to leave for a competitor or to stay at home. Having qualified childcare in place also reduces absenteeism for parents. When there's someone to take care of the kids, it allows parents to continue to work.

  3. Employers can seek tax credits for participation. We highly encourage you to talk to a tax professional about tax credits, but your financial contributions are eligible for tax credits.

  4. Set your level of commitment. The Tri-Share program is highly customizable, allowing employers to choose their level of financial commitment as well as the length of time they would like to participate. Employers are even free to set their own qualifications for employees, to help them achieve their business goals.

  5. Become and employer of choice. Programs like Tri-share become a distinguishing factor for potential employees. Many potential employees have multiple options on where they would like to work. When given the choice, they often choose the employer with Tri-Share. Employers can also use Tri-Share in their applications for distinguished employer awards.

  6. Support your community. Small-town employers are built on, around and with their communities. Tri-Share is one small way to give back to the people who make your business a success and set Ottawa County up for a bright future.

How do I learn more?

To request an information packet on Tri-Share, please email or call Ready for School 616-834-0515.

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