ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A recent poll by Global Strategy Group in partnership with Raising NY concluded across all racial groups, parents of young children have encountered challenges accessing childcare. The study also found overall satisfaction parents have with the childcare program although their experiences with some areas can vary widely across racial lines.
The findings of the study show the need for NY to invest in its childcare system making it accessible, high-quality and affordable for New York parents. The results of the study by Global Strategy Group entailed,
- Parents across all racial groups indicated they have encountered challenges accessing child care. Additionally, Black parents were more likely to say they needed access to care during evenings and weekends and nearly three in four (73%) of Black families reported having to travel more than 10 minutes to reach their child care program.
- Families from low-income households were more likely to consider cost when choosing a child care provider (39% compared to 33% of parents from not low-income households), and two in five indicated that their child does not attend a child care program because they are not able to afford it.
- Parents with children in child care are largely satisfied with their program across a variety of metrics. But Asian and Black families are much more likely to say they have family needs that are not provided by their current program.
- Across all racial groups, parents said that issues with child care have affected their ability to attend work, school, or other commitments.
- There is broad support for investments to ensure that all children have access to a high-quality child care program, including minimizing costs for parents and ensuring that early educators earn a family-sustaining wage.
- Nearly two thirds of parents (63%) had heard nothing or little about the Empire State Child Tax credit. Parents reported that if they were to receive a child tax credit, they would use it for basic necessities including childcare, housing, and utilities. This underscores the critical need for New York to expand access to families with children under age 4.
Following these results, Raising NY calls on state leaders to implement the following,
- Lower the cost of childcare for families by increasing and expanding eligibility for subsidies.
- Adapt a culturally responsive quality rating system for all childcare programs.
- Increase access to and capacity of high-quality childcare programs that offer non-traditional hours of care.
- Increase provider wages so that all early childhood care professionals can earn a sustainable and competitive salary.
- Expand coverage of the Empire State Child Credit to children under 4.
- Expand access to and coverage of Home Visiting programs and Early Intervention services.
- Invest in a cradle-to-career state longitudinal data system.
Mansie Meikle, a New York City parent who has struggled to access childcare for her children states, “Challenges accessing childcare affect your mental and physical health,” “Not being able to provide for your kids affects your mental health. Having to choose between toilet paper and food affects your mental health. There is peace of mind knowing your children are cared for while you are working or pursuing an education. I don’t have to worry about what we’re going to do next week. Now that I know my children are cared for, I can go to work and pursue my dream of helping others.”