Governor Signs Bill to Establish Childcare Availability Taskforce

December 19, 2017

Albany, NY – Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families and Senator Tony Avella, (D-Bayside) Chair of the Senate Children and Families Committee announced that the Governor has signed legislation they sponsored to establish a Childcare Availability Taskforce. The Taskforce will examine issues related to childcare including access to quality childcare, childcare cost, subsidized childcare, the availability of non-traditional hours, as well as the impact of childcare access on the workforce and economic development.

Assemblywoman Jaffee said, “Ensuring all parents have access to quality, affordable childcare is a top priority. On behalf of working families across the state I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important bill into law. We have been working closely with the Governor’s Office to ensure the Taskforce runs efficiently and effectively, incorporating suggestions and getting the appropriate agencies involved, while ensuring that we maintain the integrity of the Taskforce. I look forward to continuing this collaboration and to working with my colleagues to secure much-needed funding in the budget.”

Senator Avella, said, “In order to better inform childcare policies, it is necessary to understand more about the issues related to childcare access. As Chair of the Senate’s Children and Families Committee, I am committed to ensuring that every child, whether at the beginning of their education or at the end of their college tenure, has access to the highest quality education this state has to offer. Our state should be committed to providing every child the opportunity to succeed through education as well as providing families an opportunity to grow and flourish in our communities. By creating this task force it will allow our state to do just that.”

Two-thirds of all families in New York State are headed by parents in the workforce and most work full-time by the time their children are three. Although research suggests that safe, reliable, high-quality child care promotes positive child development and is critical to a family’s ability to maintain employment and remain self-sufficient many working families across the state are unable to secure such care.

“The availability of child care, including child care assistance, varies throughout the State. In order to better address child care needs and inform child care policies, it is necessary to learn more about the issues related to child care access,” Jaffee said. “The Taskforce will be a valuable opportunity to identify

-the obstacles that prevent families from accessing child care, as well as the challenges providers and caregivers face, which will help guide decisions to better meet the needs of our working families across the State.”

"On behalf of all working parents, I am grateful to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing this bill into law. Affordable, accessible, and quality child care is one of the most pressing issues facing New York families. This new task force will help us determine what legislative and funding challenges we need to tackle to improve accessibility and quality of child care for working parents,” said Assemblymember Shelley Mayer, Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues. “Thank you to my legislative colleagues, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Governor Andrew Cuomo for prioritizing an investigative look into child care in our state. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the upcoming legislative session to expand child care access, improve quality, and lessen the burden of the cost on parents.”

Taskforce members would be appointed by the Governor and would include individuals recommended by the Speaker of the Assembly and the Temporary President of the Senate, as well as representatives of child care resource and referral agencies, child care providers and the business community.

The taskforce would report its findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the Assembly and Temporary President of the Senate.