Children need bolder action in the New York State budget that changes systems in ways that are effective and equitable.
Children in New York need bold legislative action to make the systems that serve them effective and equitable.
Families in Rochester and Monroe County are experiencing widespread financial hardship and family financial stress that impacts children.
New York can make quality child care more affordable by streamlining enrollment in the state’s child care assistance program.
The child care system in New York needs greater public investment to ensure the child care workforce is paid a sustaining wage.
The balance between caring for children and work is a crisis or major problem for 7 out of 10 Monroe County families and 5 out of 10 parents say their stress is high as a result of the pandemic. The stress parents are experiencing has three branches: affording and accessing resources, pandemic disruptions in schools, and mental health impacts of the pandemic.
There are many challenges plaguing the child care sector in New York State. I will summarize a few in this testimony, and share why my organization and the Empire State Campaign for Child Care believes a $5 billion investment is needed in the 2022-23 state budget.
Affordable, safe, high quality, and nurturing child care is essential for the immediate and future success of New York State. Our goal as a state should be to increase the number of families receiving this critical support, and we should fund services that help us achieve that goal. Readily available child care helps parents remain in the workforce, contributes to economic growth and expands the labor force for employers. It also ensures that children get off to the best possible start to life.
The Children’s Agenda recommends that the County develop a new policy to level the playing field between private-pay and subsidized families’ access to child care by changing its absence policy, while also establishing certain safeguards to ensure public funds are being spent wisely.