Lawmakers emphasize childcare deserts in human services budget hearing

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — During the fifth of thirteen budget hearings, lawmakers discussed Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposals for human services.

Some witnesses testified that childcare is unstable and some lawmakers feel this should be a priority for the legislature during these budget talks.

“I want to start off talking about the continued and accelerating collapse of the childcare sector,” said Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-25th Senate District).

Brisport added he is concerned about the childcare workers leaving the profession despite incentive efforts from the state like stabilization grants. Some witnesses agreed the childcare workforce is in crisis and that more federal support could go a long way to resolving some of the issues facing childcare providers.

“I think nationally the spotlight is on childcare, hopefully, next year we’ll cross our fingers that congress will also recognize because I know the focus is looking toward universal childcare and states just can’t do that by themselves, we definitely need the federal support,” said Suzanne Miles-Gustave, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

U.S. Congressman Marc Molinaro (R- 19th New York District), in Albany for a Republican conference, said the federal government should be looking at leveraging the resources they have to increase access.

“There is a childcare crisis in America and certainly throughout New York. And I will tell you in Upstate New York–significant childcare deserts. I represent a part of the state where access to childcare is very limited. It is one of the biggest obstacles to entering or re-entering the workforce,” Molinaro said.

The Senate and the Assembly will be delivering their one-house budget resolutions in the coming weeks.


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