Byrnes Calls for Child Care Affordability & Options for Rural Communities

Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (R,C-Caledonia) attended the Joint Legislative Budget Public Hearing on Human Services this week in her capacity as the ranking Minority member of the Assembly Children and Families Committee to advocate for increased opportunities for affordable child care, particularly in rural areas like those she represents in the 133rd Assembly District.

“Having child care you can trust is essential, but too many families are forced to make a decision solely based on what they can afford,” said Byrnes. “In rural communities, like those in the greater Livingston County area, many hardworking people are also traveling long distances to get to work meaning they are away from their families for longer hours of the day. The struggles of our hardest-working and rural families need to be addressed in this budget to give families some relief, some time together. That is essential too.”

The 2023 State Budget enacted a $7 billion four-year investment in child care; however, this funding was largely from prior unspent federal aid such as the American Rescue Plan Act and the CARES Act. Byrnes expressed concern at the hearing this week on the status of that pledge, especially as federal aid has dried up. Additionally, Byrnes expressed support for the governor’s plans to support a pilot program for Family Child Care Networks as well as a Child Care Capital Program and asked questions about how that project would be launched, especially as they may benefit families and day care providers in rural areas.