May 9, 2013
By Stephanie Wood
With a lack of quality, affordable child care still an obstacle for many working families, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced the formation of a working group on child care issues in New York State to better understand the challenges faced by working parents.
“Access to affordable child care is critical to parents, mostly mothers, who wish to remain engaged in the workforce,” said Silver. “The simple fact is the high cost of child care is a significant impediment to women remaining in the workplace. Expanding the availability of affordable, quality child care will not only enable families to earn more and remain self-sufficient, but it has been proven that quality child care prior to kindergarten is a critical investment in a child’s future.”
When women lose or cannot afford child care, they are more likely to leave the workplace to care for their children or resort to less than adequate child care. Women who have stable child care are more likely to maintain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. The lack of affordable, accessible, stable and safe child care is a major obstacle to women in the workforce, the effects of which impact not only women but children, families, businesses and the overall economy. According to the National Institutes of Health, every dollar spent on early education for children from low income families generates $4 to $11 in economic benefits over the child’s lifetime.
The following Assembly members will participate in the workgroup:Addie Russell, chair of the Task Force on Women’s Issues;Donna Lupardo, chair of the Children and Families Committee;Michele Titus; chair of the Social ServicesCommittee;Carl Heastie; chair of the Labor Committee;Catherine Nolan; chair of the Education Committee; andAileen Gunther, chair of the Mental Health Committee.
“Quality, affordable child care helps ensure successful outcomes for children and parents alike,” said Heastie. “Investigating care offerings in New York, providing resources for families, and prioritizing the care of the next generation of New Yorkers is the laudable goal of this work group. I thank the Speaker for understanding the plight of working parents and directing the resources of the Assembly to this issue.”