On Monday, February 4, hundreds of child care advocates from around New York State will gather in Albany to meet with scores of members of the NYS Assembly and the NYS Senate. Their goal - ensuring equitable access to affordable, quality child care for all working families with a smart investment in early care and education.
We know early care and education is important to our economy. We know the early care workforce is underpaid. We know providing early care educators with professional development, training, and technical assistance supports the delivery of quality care. We know ensuring children have access to affordable, high-quality child care and early education from birth means giving children and families a solid foundation upon which to grow and thrive.
If you saw CCRR’s January-June 2019 Newsletter, you’d might have read my introductory article. “I Am An Advocate, And So Are You,” where I write about the power of the collective voice to speak up, to write about, and to share support for children and families. Monday’s Advocacy Day is a clear, strong example of a collective voice. Yet, even if you cannot spare a day away to join the incredible folks who trek to Albany, you are part of that same collective voice when you share with legislators, policymakers, friends, and family your support for investment in early care and education. Some specifics:
Expand access to child care for New York’s families by increasing State funding for child care subsidies to expand equitable access to quality child care to more working families.
Increase State funding to stabilize the child care workforce to mitigate providers’ increased operating costs. Expand access to child care subsidies.
Fully fund one truly universal full-day prekindergarten for all four-year-olds in New York. There are several funding streams for different part-day and full-day PreK programs. And yet, this year, approximately 80,000 four-year-olds in NYS still do not have access to full-day prekindergarten.
Increase the reimbursement rate for Preschool Special Education. Inadequate state reimbursement rates for preschool special education make it nearly impossible for programs to recruit and retain appropriate teachers and staff, creating a crisis for children and families.
Invest in child care resource and referral agencies (CCRR is one of 34 statewide) that support child care and early education.