Empire State Campaign for Child Care
STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO STATE OF THE STATE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2018
Contact: Dede Hill, Director of Policy, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy Facilitator, Empire State Campaign for Child Care (W) 518/463-1896, ext. 138 (C) 519/979-6616 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Empire State Campaign for Child Care is made up of advocates for children and families, child care providers, parents, faith and union leaders from across the state, all committed to achieving equitable access to quality child care for all New York children and working families. Formed over the summer in response to last year’s cuts to child care subsidies for low-income working families, our membership numbers more than 45 organizations along with dozens of individuals, and is growing.
We listened to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address last week with great interest and hope. We commend the Governor for pledging bold action to protect the rights of working people – especially women and people of color in New York. We agree with the Governor that people who work hard should not have to struggle just to make ends meet. Unfortunately, that is the reality for many working parents who face child care costs that rival that of college tuition. It is also the reality faced by most of the child care workforce; nearly 60% of child care workers’ families of participate in some type of public assistance.
We were therefore disappointed that the Governor made no commitment to improving families’ access to quality child care this year in his State of the State address or in the Briefing Book. This omission comes on the heels of last year’s funding cut of $7 million for child care subsidies, and at a time when the vast majority of low-income working families receive no child care subsidies due to inadequate investment. The omission was also notable given the Governor’s stated commitment to continue to make substantial investments in economic development given that access to quality child care reduces barriers to employment, and improves the productivity and the quality of the workforce in the short and long-term. A failure to restore last year’s subsidy cuts and expand investment in child care threatens the well-being of our children, our communities, and – increasingly– our economy. While we applaud the state’s decision to convene a Child Care Availability Task Force and believe this task force can play a critical role in significantly expanding access to quality, affordable child care for all New York children and families, a task force alone is not enough.
We urge the Governor and Legislators to be bold leaders and increase child care funding this year and make expanding access to quality child care a central component of the State’s economic development efforts. We look forward to working together to expand access to quality child care for more of our working families, and ensure a living wage for the people who care for our children.