Queens, NY –Senator Tony Avella and Assembly Member Ellen Jafffee’s legislation (S5929A) establishing a childcare availability task force was signed into law by Governor Cuomo this week. The task force will examine the need for childcare, barriers to accessing childcare and the impacts on economic development and the workforce. This information will help guide decisions to better meet the needs of working families across the State. Prior to its June passage in both houses, the legislation received memos in support from more than 15 organizations across the state.
Access to quality childcare is critical for healthy child development, as well as for working families to maintain employment and self-sufficiency. Yet many families struggle to obtain safe and reliable childcare for reasons that may include the high cost, the lack of subsidies and the lack of an available child care slot for the hours needed. The inability to access childcare can result in parents relying on unsafe childcare arrangements or dropping out of the workforce, which also has a negative impact on the local economy.
“In order to better improve childcare policies, it is necessary to understand more about the issues related to childcare access. As Chair of the Senate’s Children and Families Committee, I am committed to ensuring that every child, whether at the beginning of their education or at the end of their college tenure, has access to the highest quality education this state has to offer. Our state should be committed to providing every child the opportunity to succeed through education as well as providing families an opportunity to grow and flourish in our communities. By creating this task force it will allow our state to do just that,” said Senator Avella.
Assemblywoman Jaffee said, “Ensuring all parents have access to quality, affordable childcare is a top priority. On behalf of working families across the state I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important bill into law. We have been working closely with the Governor’s Office to ensure the Taskforce runs efficiently and effectively, incorporating suggestions and getting the appropriate agencies involved, while ensuring that we maintain the integrity of the Taskforce. I look forward to continuing this collaboration and to working with my colleagues to secure much-needed funding in the budget.”
Additionally, studies have suggested that children who do not participate in quality early learning programs may do worse academically and have lower future earning potential.
The taskforce members would be appointed by the Governor and would include individuals recommended by the Speaker of the Assembly and the Temporary President of the Senate, as well as representatives of childcare resource and referral agencies, childcare providers and the business community.
The taskforce would examine issues including access to subsidized childcare, the cost of childcare, availability of non-traditional hours, impact of childcare access on the workforce, the impact on economic development and childcare quality. The taskforce would report its findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the Assembly and Temporary President of the Senate.