Playgrounds And Petitions: 50+ Parents Build Support For Free Child Care In City Wide Day Of Action

March 18, 2024

On Sunday, March 17th, 2024, the day before the City Council’s Preliminary Budget Hearing for the Education Committee, parents and members of New Yorkers United for Child Care (NYUC).

The Committee, parents and members fanned out to playgrounds across the city to build support for their fight to call on the Mayor to reverse the $400 million in funding cuts to the city’s universal Pre-K & 3-K and demand free child care for all kids under 5.  

Members of New Yorkers United for Child Care collected petitions at playgrounds in Washington Heights, Sunset Park, Ditmas Park, Ridgewood, Astoria and Jackson Heights. 

In advance of the hearing, NYUC also sent 55 testimonies from parents and would-be parents  to the New York City Council Education Committee in advance of the hearing.

One parent who testified wrote,  “I am the mom of a two year old and am expecting my second child. If there are no 3K and PreK programs, my family will have to leave the city or I will have to leave the workforce. We currently spend more than our rent for our one child to attend daycare. We simply can’t afford to send two of them to daycare. “

The day of action comes after a new Department of Education budget analysis from the Independent Budget Office (IBO) finds that Mayor Adams’ pre-K and 3-K cuts total $399 million dollars

The Mayor is making these cuts despite the city’s Pre-K being lauded as a model for the nation and despite the well-known benefits of Universal Child Care.   

Research conducted by the Robin Hood Foundation revealed that mothers residing in school districts with greater 3-K availability were more likely to participate in the labor force, particularly in full-time employment.

Similarly, in Canada, the nationwide rollout of $10-a-day daycare has resulted in significant benefits for workforce retention.

A new report from Cornell University’s ILR Buffalo Co-Lab found that a lack of affordable child care has serious implications for New York State’s Economy. They found that households have chosen to “forgo employment” due to the lack of affordable child care, removing New York workers from the economy.  

When governments do invest in affordable child care, the report found a significant economic return on investment nothing that “ investing $1 billion into NYS’s child care industry would give rise to roughly 20,304 new jobs – the seventh-highest job creation rate out of 372 industries (98th percentile) in all of NYS. “

Photo credit: 1-3) Source.

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