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Over $50 a day, 3 year waits... New York State tackles childcare issues

$15,000 to Child Care Resource Network of Buffalo
Posted: 6:24 PM, Aug 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-02 18:24:37-04
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"It would be hard to go to work. I mean it would be a majority portion of the pay between other bills," said Melissa Mahogan, a working mom.

If Mahogan didn't have her mother to watch her daughter while she was at work, she'd be worried about making ends meet.

"It's much more affordable. Thank God for her," Mahogan said.

State figures show that the average cost of center-based child care in Erie County is $12,000 a year, and that Erie County receives less state funding for subsides than other comparable counties in New York.

"It's $52 a day," Javon Barnes, a working father, said.

The state is trying to tackle the child care crisis. The Council on Children and Families secured over $134,000 in grant money to help resource networks connect families with childcare options. The Child Care Resource Network of Buffalo is getting $15,000.

"Little babies will have a much better start in life than they would have... for the fact they were able to come [to daycare]," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

Lieutenant Governor Hochul acknowledges this is a workforce issue too. That's why she's telling businesses that work with the state to make childcare a priority.

"I expect that when companies come before the state of New York looking for government assistance, tax dollars to help their business grow, thrive or to begin that they also have an element that deals with child care," said Lieutenant Governor Hochul.

According to a 2018 study by the Child Care Resource Network, 60% of parents surveyed reported struggling to pay for child care. Yet, at the same time, research shows for every $1 spent on childcare in New York State an additional $2 of economic activity is generated in the local economy.

So is it worth the money?

"Absolutely. I would do it again in a heart beat," Barnes said.

Parents we spoke with at Delaware Park know the value of a good day care. The state hopes their continued work will make affordable, quality child care a reality for all families.