No working family should have to choose between doing what’s best for their job or what’s best for their child. But a lack of high-quality child care options often force hundreds of thousands of families to make that choice every day. The cost of child care in our state is out of reach for most working families, often their largest monthly bill, and equal to what many pay for a mortgage.
Only 20% of families that earn less than $42,000 a year, receive financial assistance to help pay for child care. This is a staggering amount, impacting more than half a million children in our state.
Lastly, many of the pre-school and child care educators caring for New York’s youngest are paid wages that leave them living at or near poverty. In New York, 65% of the families of people who care for young children participate in public income support programs at a cost of more than $192.1 million. New York’s child care crisis is growing increasingly severe.
We call upon Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to include the following investments in New York’s SFY22 budget. They must provide New York’s child care sector with the funds necessary to stabilize and begin to rebuild the sector. They should also lay the foundation for a universal system that serves all New York families that need care, one animated by the emerging recognition that child care is a public good, and is an integral part of a birth-to-12 education system. New York State must make the following investments in child care this year:
“For American business, advancing high-quality childcare is a winning proposition. It’s a wise investment in America’s future – strengthening business today while building the workforce we’ll depend on tomorrow and for decades to come.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce