The cost of failing to invest in child care

We’re down to the wire: child care has emerged as one of the key issues in this year’s state budget. We need New Yorker’s leaders to address this crisis. Failing to invest in child care is costing all of us enormously — workers, students, and families. If we want parents to get back to work, we need more than lip service, we need State leaders to commit to investing $5 billion to make universal child care a reality NOW. There are just a few short days left to move the needle. Email Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, and your local State Legislators now to tell them to put our children’s futures first, and include $5 billion for universal child care in New York.

When a parent stays home due to a lack of child care, they lose out on income. Businesses lose out on workers and productivity. And all of us lose out on the revenue the State can’t collect from lost income, sales and business taxes — revenue that could be reinvested into our communities in the form of schools, healthcare, jobs and, yes, even child care. Nationwide, the absence of child care costs $57 billion annually, with nearly two-thirds of that cost borne by families.

The child care crisis is costing all New Yorkers. But the good news is that a solution is within our grasp. New York has more than enough money in its coffers to break this cycle and create a quality, sustainable universal child care system, starting now. A $5 billion investment in the state budget would allow us to expand family access to quality child care AND expand and stabilize the child care workforce — addressing the crisis of both supply and demand at once.

But we don’t have much time left. This is the last week for New York’s legislative leaders to put the final touches on the State Senate and Assembly budget proposals (called “one house” budgets) which will critically influence the shape of the final budget. With just days left to influence their decisions, we need to make sure that Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie and their colleagues in the State Legislature know that New York’s child care providers and families must be a top priority in their budget proposals. Email them now!

New York’s families, businesses and communities cannot continue to pay the costs of lacking child care. This is the moment for us to create a universal child care system for New York. Take action now to help us get it done.