BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's almost like paying for college, but for a two and six year old. The cost is just one of the challenges associated with child care in New York. It's also hard to find - either there's no daycare nearby or there's a lengthy, competitive wait list. That's why the Child Care Availability Task Force, formed by Governor Cuomo in 2018, is questioning why the issues were not covered in the State of State Adress or the Executive Budget.
"Our annual from last year was $22,000," said Misty Heusinger, "It's a college tuition for a state school." She said she didn't realize she had to start looking for daycare when she first found out she was pregnant.
While daycare for families can be a struggle, daycares themselves face their own financial problems as well.
"We've lost 509 child care providers in this region over a five year period," said Sheri Scavone, the Executive Director of WNY Women's Foundation.
In response to the crisis Governor Cuomo formed the Child Care Availability Task Force. Scavone is the task force and presented potential solutions last year.
"We have analyzed data, done financial analysis and really come up with some pragmatic suggestions to improving the child care crisis that currently exists. We know that child care is not working for anyone," said Scavone.
That's why Scavone said she was disappointed to find out the proposed solutions were not included in Cuomo's State of the State address or the Executive Budget.
"I think that it would be a travesty to ignore those really great suggestions that have been put forth. We're not looking at everything immediately. We're looking at incremental steps working toward a more equitable solution for everyone," said Scavone.
Scavone is encouraging families and daycare providers to call Governor Cuomo's office and share their child care struggles. She hopes this will show Cuomo that the Executive Budget should include investment in child care.
Here's how to take action:
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A spokesperson for the governor's office released this statement to 7 Eyewitness News Monday night:
"In his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo highlighted pre-kindergarten and after-school expansions to provide working parents with quality child care options for pre-kindergarten and school-age children. Last week, the Governor also proposed a significant expansion of the Empire State Child tax credit to ensure support in the earliest years of a child’s life. These efforts follow the record appropriation we included in the current budget – $832 million for child care subsidies, the most in state history, representing a 7% increase since Governor Cuomo took office. ”