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"This is an explosive situation" Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul on child care and the pandemic

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Posted at 8:14 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 20:14:12-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — If school’s don’t reopen, or they reopen part time, where will the kids go? Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul called the combination of a broken childcare system and the COVID-19 pandemic “explosive.”

“This is a parent’s nightmare,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said.

“The whole thing is a recipe for disaster,” said Sheri Scavone, Executive Director of the WNY Women’s Foundation, “When you take a system that was broken before, and you suggest that there will be an ability for care in leu of school, it's fraught with peril.”

The childcare system was challenged before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Openings at daycares were sparse and cost was high.

“Between an already over taxed child care system where there are already too few childcare day spots already as well as the high cost parents have to endure… You take that existing situation compound it with the virus and fewer spots for children and parents going back to work… A lot of families need both incomes,” Hochul said.

Hochul said our economy depends on getting parents back to work, and many parents depend on childcare in order to attend work. The New York Association for Early Education of Youth said 50% of day cares will not reopen.

“A woman in particular is going to have to make a choice that really isn't a choice. Do I take care of my children or do I work?” said Scavone.

Hochul said the state is working to find solutions for families so no woman is forced to make that choice

“I have nothing else to say other than my God I feel your pain and we are working hard to figure out solutions,” said Hochul.