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NYS Families Will Have Greater Access to Affordable Childcare

Staff Report

Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

The New York State Assembly recently passed two bills that would increase access to affordable childcare for families.

“Affordable childcare is a lifeline for all parents regardless of whether they are working full time, part time or are receiving an education,” Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi said.  “These bills will ensure that families on a less traditional path or work schedule will still have the same access to childcare that will enable them to be successful.”

The first bill passed by the Assembly (A.7661, Hevesi) was submitted by Assemblymember Hevesi, will provide greater flexibility to social services districts when providing childcare services.  Under the bill, social services districts would not be required to limit authorized childcare services strictly based on the work, training or educational schedules of the parents. 

“Families across the state have struggled to find safe, reliable child care since long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit our shores and intensified the problem,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.  

Heastie said bills like these are critical and would remove the burdensome requirements to finding affordable child care that prevent parents from trying to improve their circumstances and climb the economic ladder.

This childcare assistance legislation would benefit families who are low income, homeless and other those who work part time, have rotating schedules or participating in educational and vocational programs.

The second bill passed by the Assembly (A.7093), Clark) was submitted by Assemblymember Sarah Clark, would remove the work requirement for a person receiving a child care subsidy who is enrolled in an educational program.  

Presently, employees enrolled in an educational program are required to work 17.5 hours in addition to their studies to qualify for a childcare subsidy.  By removing this work requirement, parents would be able to focus on their education, developing and advancing their careers.

“Anyone who has earned an advanced degree or enrolled in post secondary vocational and certification programs knows that the work required can often be a full time job,” said Clark.

“As parents make the decision to embark on this path, adding work requirements to access childcare subsidies is often the barrier for those who are trying to obtain an education to advance their career and an unnecessary burden for our New York families.  

Clark said legislation will ensure that parents have access to the childcare they need to obtain the education opportunities and better provide for their families.”