Senate & Assembly Take Some Steps to Address the Child Care Crisis, But More Is Needed 1

Senate & Assembly Take Some Steps to Address the Child Care Crisis, But More Is Needed

March 12, 2024 (ALBANY, N.Y.) — Following the release of the State Senate and Assembly’s proposed budgets, public education advocacy organization the Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement in response to the child care proposals:

“We commend the Senate and Assembly on the inclusion of additional funding for the child care retention grant program, but while it is a step in the right direction, neither proposal goes far enough to avert the crisis facing the child care workforce and families. While we acknowledge and appreciate the Legislature’s recognition of the need to invest in this workforce, the fact that these proposals are not permanent and fall half a billion dollars short of what’s necessary means they will not adequately address the challenges faced by child care educators.

“The attention to decoupling of child care eligibility from work hours in both one house proposals is commendable. The existing system, tying child care eligibility directly to parents’ work hours, unfairly and disproportionately impacts lower- and middle-income families. As families reset after the hardships of a global pandemic, struggling families are poised to benefit from the more comprehensive support being made available to them within our communal infrastructure. The Legislature’s consistent advocacy, having passed the decoupling bill twice, despite Governor’s Hochul’s veto, shows the ongoing demand that families across New York continue to have for such hours of care,” said Zakiyah Shaakir-Ansari, Co-Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.

“We commend both the Senate and Assembly for addressing the need for differential pay, allocating funds to support higher reimbursement rates for child care programs offering care during nontraditional hours, such as nights and weekends.

“As we await the negotiations to come between the legislature’s leadership and the Governor, we remain committed to advocating for a robust and equitable child care system for all New Yorkers. Anticipating further developments through negotiation, we call on the Governor and State Legislature to include a permanent increased investment in the child care workforce to meet the true needs of educators and families across the state,” said Marina Marcou-O’Malley, Co-Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.