Child care staffing shortages throughout the state have made it difficult to find caregivers for our youngest Michiganders. With over 9,000 vacancies, shortages of staff are impacting the industry’s ability to serve children and families. To help meet this pressing need, LARA’s Child Care Licensing Bureau (CCLB) is offering licensed child care providers more options to comply with rules related to the child care workforce.

LARA’s Child Care Licensing Bureau is now accepting requests for exceptions to the rules, “rule variances,” identified by child care professionals as barriers to bringing on new staff members. As a part of Michigan’s Caring for MI Future initiative, a statewide effort to help child care entrepreneurs open 1,000 new or expanded child care programs by the end of 2024, Lead Caregivers and Program Directors not yet meeting the licensing requirement for the position may utilize a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship to take coursework fulfilling the variance requirement at little or no cost.

Approved recipients of the License Variance Scholarship will receive a stipend-based scholarship of $250/credit hour. Recipients of this scholarship must complete a minimum of 6 Early Childhood Education credit hours at an approved, T.E.A.C.H. participating community college in Michigan during the scholarship contract period. Employer verification is required, but no employer contribution is required to participate in this scholarship model.

If you would like to provide more supports to your staff please check out our CDA training traditional model. Please apply online at To find out more information please call 800-648-6224 x312 or email us 

Not sure which scholarship model is the best fit for your staff? Use the chart below to help you decide.