Childcare options in New York “A crisis on steroids,” says Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul – CBS New York
VALLEY STREAM, NY (CBSNewYork) – Child care has always been expensive, but the pandemic has skyrocketed prices and slots are harder than ever to find.
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says we are in a child custody crisis. She crisscrossed the state, sounded the alarm bells.
READ MORE: A new interactive museum chronicling local activism and the positive police changes coming next fall in Newark
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports, Wooden Shoe at Valley Stream was shut down for months, then reopened at half capacity. It is among the daycares that have been forced to raise prices.
“I saw a lot of colleagues close their doors because they couldn’t get the staff back, the kids didn’t come back, the parents were afraid to send their kids,” said owner Rosemarie Meyer.
The pandemic has tightened the crisis. Two-thirds of New Yorkers live in a so-called child care desert, with no options nearby.
A report from the New York State task force reveals that the cost is often out of reach. In New York State, it’s more expensive than a public college, daycare, and above average rent.
Michaelle Solages is a mother of three and a member of the New York Assembly.
“It’s expensive, it’s hard to find a place and we are worried not only that our child will be infected, but that he will bring this infection home,” she said.
READ MORE: Cuban Americans in New Jersey join international call for change amid island nation’s economic crisis
Hochul says child care is essential for economic recovery.
“We had a seizure before the pandemic, and now it’s a steroid crisis. It’s scary to see that there are so many families who want, who need to go back to work to support their families have no childcare options, ”Hochul said.
Hochul says it’s personal to her. Years ago, she quit her job working for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan because she had no one to look after her children. The task force she co-chaired recommends higher wages, as child care workers average only $ 27,000 a year, incentives for 24-hour child care and business innovation.
“Do you have an incentive, an additional bonus in your salary package? Do you have a babysitting service on site? Hochul said.
She also wants childcare to no longer be treated as a woman’s problem, but as an urgent economic problem.
“We cannot wait. We need the funds. We have exhausted our P3s, our economic disaster, our personal loans, ”said Meyer.
The report concludes that now is the time to better rebuild New York’s child care system. Decades of treating it as a private service rather than a public good have left the system on the brink of collapse.
NO MORE NEWS: More flooding possible as storms settle in tri-state region
New York State recently allocated an additional $ 35 million to help child care centers in underserved communities.