Honorable Andrew Cuomo
Governor of New York
State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224
Senator Tony Avella
902 Legislative Office Building Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12247
Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee
626 Legislative Office Building Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12248
Dear Governor Cuomo, Senator Avella and Assemblymember Jaffee:
Thank you to Governor Cuomo for signing SB 5929(Avella)/AB 7726 (Jaffee), to create a Child Care Availability Task Force, and to Senator Tony Avella; Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee; the NY Legislative Women’s Caucus; the Women of Color Task Force of the Black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican and Asian Legislative Caucus; the legislative leaders of both houses; and all those who voted overwhelmingly on June 14, 2017 to pass the bill that was approved by the Governor earlier this week.
As advocates for children and families, we actively support expanding access to high-quality child care across New York State. This year’s funding cut of $7 million for subsidies was not just a decision to deny an estimated 900 more families the ability to access child care. It highlighted that some policymakers are unaware – or are willing to ignore – the extent to which the severe shortage of quality, affordable child care is harming our children, our communities, and, increasingly, our economy. We are hopeful that the passage of this task force legislation signals that the state recognizes the grave and far reaching impacts the shortage of affordable, quality child care presents, and is ready to make expanding equitable access to quality, affordable child care for all New York children and families a top priority.
We look forward to participating in, and supporting, the work of this task force to develop a sustainable plan to expand access to high-quality child care for all New York children who need it. Critical to developing an effective child care system that serves all families that need care, the task force must gather data to determine the extent to which families cannot access quality child care, and the reasons. In the meantime, we must increase investment now to at least restore short-term stability to both the child care provider and subsidy systems. We must help put New Yorkers back to work, strengthen our child care infrastructure, and keep more children from falling through the cracks before they even learn to walk. This is a health, education and business imperative.
We urge the Legislature and Governor to swiftly pass the agreed upon chapter amendments early in the upcoming session, convene the task force, and direct to it the resources it needs to devise a plan to strengthen the State’s struggling child care system. New York children cannot wait.
Empire State Campaign for Child Care (www.empirestatechildcare.org)
Winning Beginning NY (www.winningbeginningny.org)
cc: Paul Francis
Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services