Parents, Providers and Advocates Express Disappointment that Child Care is Largely Overlooked in Governor Cuomo’s 2019 Women’s Agenda
Empire State Campaign for Child Care
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February, 20, 2019
Contact: Dede Hill, Director of Policy, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy
(518) 463-1896, ext. 138 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue Carreker, Facilitator, Empire State Campaign for Child Care; Campaign Manager, Citizen Action of New York & Public Policy and Education Fund of New York
(518) 466-8500 / email@example.com
Parents, Providers and Advocates Express Disappointment that Child Care is Largely Overlooked in Governor Cuomo’s 2019 Women’s Agenda Governor Cuomo’s 2019 Women’s Agenda unveiled yesterday contains no proposals to meaningfully expand access to quality care to the thousands of families currently unable to access child care assistance, although child care is among the most critical issues facing New York women in their role as parents, as child care educators, and as small business owners.
New York’s failure to lead on child care stands in stark contrast to visionary proposals coming out of Washington. One leading proposal is Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA)’s Child Care for Working Families that would increase the number of children who could receive child care assistance by more than 13 times the current amount, with particular attention to infant and toddler care.
Access to affordable quality child care is essential to women’s economic security. Lack of equitable access to quality, affordable child care causes many parents – overwhelmingly women – to drop out of the workforce for longer periods of time, sharply reducing family income for the period the caregiver is out of the workforce, and lowering future earnings and retirement savings. Child care expenses are also a leading contributor to family poverty. Yet, due to underinvestment in child care for low-income families, it is estimated that fewer than 20% of eligible low-income families who could benefit from receiving subsidy assistance from New York State receive it.
And, underinvestment in New York’s child care system harms the child care workforce, which is overwhelmingly women. Many of the child care educators caring for New York’s youngest are paid wages that leave them living at or near poverty. The average median wage for a child care educator in New York is $12.38 an hour or $25,760 per year.
Finally, the lack of investment in child care means that child care providers, which are largely small, women-run businesses, cannot keep up with escalating operating costs because subsidy