Each month, The Children’s Agenda sends to our subscribers an update on advocacy activities, recent trends, and other opportunities where you can get involved in improving the lives of children in our community, New York State, and in the United States.
What Kids Need
Rochester families headed to Albany to advocate for child care
When it comes to child care, the facts are simple:
Half of New York children ages 12 and under qualify for help paying for child care through county government, but that doesn't do any good if no care is available.
More than 6 out of 10 New York children live in an area where there is not enough child care to meet the need. It's even worse for children with developmental delays and disabilities. Not all parents work 9 to 5, but evening and weekend care are almost impossible to find.
What is child care like in your county? Use our interactive map to find out.
Arriving at the capitol, ready to meet with legislators
Why It Matters
Early childhood education makes a lifelong difference in children's academic, social and behavioral well-being. After-school and summer care provide enriching experiences and safe spaces. However, parents can't afford to pay more for child care while providers can't afford to charge less. This broken market impacts the availability and quality of care.
The average price of center-based infant care in New York is $16,588 per year -- nearly twice the cost of SUNY tuition. This poses an impossible burden on families of young children who are often earlier in their careers and consequently earning less.
Even with the high cost, child care educators are among the lowest paid employees in New York, being paid less than 96% of other sectors. The median yearly wage ranges from $29,673 in the North Country to $37,153 on Long Island. In Rochester and the Finger Lakes, it is $30,529.
Rochester parents and early childhood educators explaining to legislators why it's hard to find quality, affordable child care
Just like we have universal, public education, we need universal, quality, affordable child care. State policies and public funding can make this happen.
Couldn't make it to Albany this week for Child Care Advocacy Day? You can still speak up! Send a letter to your Assemblymember and state Senator through the Empire State Campaign for Child Care. It only takes a couple of minutes to speak up for kids!
Click here to send your letters today.
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The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.