The pandemic has made it clear that child care is essential for the well-being and economic security of our children, families, and communities. Unfortunately, the system has been underfunded for decades, resulting in an undersupply of high-quality programs and too many families being excluded from the system. Providers can only charge what families can afford, often leading to salaries close to poverty and limited benefits (if any) for early childhood educators. The COVID-19 crisis has only exacerbated these existing issues.
New York City is setting a precedent across the country that universal child care will become a reality and parents will no longer have to choose between their work and the care of their children. According to recent studies, nearly half of parents with a child under 6 years of age sought care in the past two years, and two-thirds of this group enrolled their children in a new program. As states obtain the resources necessary to expand services to more children and families, the CCAoA seeks to help policy makers, advocates, and child care providers develop more consistent definitions and measures of quality that support child development, affirm parental preferences and choices, and provide support and resources to all providers, particularly those who are much less represented in current quality improvement efforts. This percentage applies to the number of parents affected by the closure of programs who are expected to remain in the workforce in order to estimate the number of parents who could miss work to care for their children when there is an interruption in child care.
For example, a recent study of parents in Canada revealed that parents of color from the lowest income categories were more likely to have a strong preference for early education teachers with a bachelor's degree. Councilmember Jennifer Gutierrez noted that New York City is in the midst of a child care crisis, which means women and caregivers are going through an economic crisis. By dividing the number of children under 13 affected in each state and in each type of household by the average number of children under 13 in each type of household, we can estimate the number of households of each type affected by the loss of grant funds. Today, the Council approved a historic legislative package that makes child care services more accessible in New York City.
If you consider all children under 6 years of age whose parents are part of the workforce, it is more difficult to consider more specific age ranges served by programs in a specific county or zip code (such as specific care for children under 3 years old). Family income affects children's cognitive development, physical health, and social and behavioral development because they are related not only to the ability of parents to invest in goods and services that promote child development, but also to the stress and anxiety that parents may suffer when faced with financial difficulties, which in turn can have an adverse effect on their children. As part of my Black Agenda for New York City, I advocated for a universal child care system in New York City. This system will ensure that all families have access to quality childcare services regardless of their financial situation. The Bronx is one of five boroughs located within New York City.
It is home to many working parents who are struggling with finding quality childcare services due to limited resources. The lack of access to quality childcare services has had a negative impact on working parents as they are unable to find reliable childcare options for their children while they are at work. This has resulted in increased stress levels among working parents as they worry about their children's safety while they are away from home. The good news is that New York City is taking steps towards providing universal access to quality childcare services for all families regardless of their financial situation.
The Council recently approved a historic legislative package that will make childcare services more accessible throughout New York City. This package includes measures such as increasing funding for childcare providers so they can offer more competitive salaries and benefits for early childhood educators. It also includes initiatives such as providing grants for childcare providers so they can offer more affordable rates for families who cannot afford traditional childcare services. In addition to these measures, policy makers are also looking into developing more consistent definitions and measures of quality that support child development, affirm parental preferences and choices, and provide support and resources to all providers.
This will ensure that all families have access to quality childcare services regardless of their financial situation or location within New York City. It is clear that providing universal access to quality childcare services is essential for the well-being and economic security of our children, families, and communities. By taking steps towards providing universal access to quality childcare services throughout New York City, we can ensure that all families have access to reliable childcare options regardless of their financial situation.