Lower Your Child Care
Costs by 66%!

If the high cost of child care has prevented you from pursuing a great job, MI Tri-Share is for you! 


Employee Benefits of Participating in the MI Tri-Share Program

Split the

Child care cost is split equally three ways between you, your employer, and the State of Michigan.

Parent Choice

Parents can select any licensed child care provider(s) in Michigan. 

Types of care covered could include Traditional Care (part or full-time), Before and After School Care, Preschool, and Summer Camps.

Families may also utilize more than one child care provider. 

Search Assistance

Assistance to find licensed child care providers. Start your search HERE or, if you would like assistance, email us.

Streamline Payments

Payment for child care is made directly to your provider by United Way of Northwest Michigan (UWNWMI). Your employer will deduct 1/3 of child care costs from your earnings to make this payment for you.



Employee eligibility will be determined based on the employee’s family size and household income. Employees must have a household income between 200%-325% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Employees must not be eligible for the Child Development and Care Program (CDC, commonly referred to as child care scholarship/subsidy). Once an employee is deemed eligible, they are eligible for two years from their benefit start date.

If you are unsure if your family falls into the qualifying range, please apply, and the UWNWMI MI Tri-Share team will assist you.

MI Tri-Share Program Eligibility 2024

Hover over the chart to view minimum and maximum incomes.

Employee Responsibilites

What are my responsibilities?

It’s just that EASY!

Interested in applying?

If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Participating Employers

Current Employers
0 +
Employer Contributions
$ 0 k+
Family Savings
$ 0 k+

Current numbers are for United Way Northwest hub.

You ask, we answer

MI Tri-Share is an employer based benefit and they may have set a budget to support the program. The employer has the flexibility in deciding how the child care slots will be allocated. Possible ways to make this determination include:

  • Each family receives one child care slot/family receives multiple child care slots
  • First come, first serve process
  • Employee lottery/random selection
  • Employee needs (i.e., closest to 200% FPL)

Only licensed child care in Michigan is covered. Care can be for full-time or part-time care, preschool, before and after school care, summer care, summer camps, or a combination of these choices.

Are you searching for child care options?  Click Here

Employee eligibility will be determined based on the employee’s household size and gross monthly income (before tax). Currently, employees must have a household income between 200%-325% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Please refer to the income chart based on your household size on the main page.

Employees must NOT be eligible for the Child Development and Care Program (CDC). If household income is below 200% FPL, the UWNWMI MI Tri-Share staff will connect you with information to apply for the CDC program as it may be more beneficial for your family.

UWNWMI MI Tri-Share staff will gather income data which includes gross monthly wages of employee, spouse/partner (if applicable), child support, alimony, or other income to determine the final eligibility of employees.

United Way of Northwest Michigan (UWNWMI) MI Tri-Share staff will contact your child care provider(s) to verify hours and rates of care. They will then contact your employer to determine the benefit start date (based on payroll cycles) and provide a breakdown of the employee, employer, and state weekly rates.

UWNWMI will start paying your child care provider(s) for the total care costs from the determined benefit start date.

**Please note that registration fees, one-time fees, and balances prior to the benefit start date are not covered by the MI Tri-Share program. MI Tri-Share also ends if your employment status changes.**

The employee portion will be payroll deducted by your employer. The employer will send the employee and employer portions to UWNWMI. 

UWNWMI will then bill the State of Michigan and pay your child care provider(s) within one week of an invoice(s) being submitted.

Employees are 100% responsible for their child care cost from the termination date if there is a separation from a participating employer.

The employee or child care provider will need to fill out a Care Change Form. Both parties must sign the form indicating they are aware and approve of the change. The form will then be forwarded to the MI Tri-Share staff to process.

Changes may take up to a maximum of 30 days to initiate. Parents are responsible for paying for any increase while this is in process.

If your employment status changes, either you, or your employer, will need to inform UWNWMI MI Tri-Share staff right away. MI Tri-Share is an employer-based benefit. The employee is responsible for 100% of their care costs from the termination date, regardless of who initiated the change.

Yes, eligibility can be determined based on seasonal income.

Employees must sign and adhere to any type of agreement put forth by UWNWMI. Child care costs are only covered by MI Tri-Share while the employee is employed. If a separation occurs, as of the termination date, 100% of child care costs are the employee’s responsibility.

Employees may also be asked to participate in data collection processes implemented by the evaluation team. These may include, but are not limited to, focus groups, surveys, and interviews.

Interested in signing up?