NY’s child care educators must earn a thriving wage

Families and child care educators are counting on Albany to address the ongoing crisis in child care and provider wages in this year’s budget — and that means raising the wages for the child care workforce.

But we’re running out of time. Right now, New York’s legislative leaders, Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie, and their colleagues in the State Legislature are putting the final touches on the State Senate and Assembly budget proposals (called “one house” budgets) — and what they include in those proposals will make or break what gets into the final budget. Email them now and tell them they MUST include $1.2 billion for the child care workforce in their budget proposals.

Child care work is one of the lowest paid professions in the United States. In New York, child care educators – 96 percent women, the majority of whom are women of color – earn less than 96 percent of occupations statewide. We know child care workers play a critical role in our economy, allowing parents to work and giving children access to quality early education. But for too long, we have failed to reflect that importance in their pay. The poverty wages have driven many educators from the profession altogether, seeking other kinds of work just so they’re able to survive.

The only way to ensure there is enough child care for every family in the state that needs it is by paying a thriving wage to our child care educators for the important work they do. Until we can ensure that child care educators are able to make a living, families will continue to struggle to find care that meets their needs. That’s why educators and families alike are calling on State Legislators to include a $1.2 billion investment to improve the pay for the child care workforce this 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 hear from us that New York’s child care providers and families must be a top priority in their budget proposals. Email them now!