Slater Calls for the Inclusion of Child Care Investments in 2024-25 State Budget

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown)

With the 2024-25 State Budget deadline quickly approaching, my colleagues and I in the Assembly Minority Conference introduced a comprehensive plan to lower child care costs for families throughout the Hudson Valley. Our plan is called “A Blueprint for Childcare” (ABC) and is designed to address spiraling child care costs by expanding access and enhancing the stability of child care providers.

A report from the Hudson Valley-based Pattern for Progress released earlier this month shows how dire the child care situation is in New York. Statewide, there has been a 22% reduction in child care providers since 2007. The Hudson Valley specifically has seen a decrease of 27% in child care providers with Putnam County losing 34% of its providers during the same timeframe.

This comprehensive set of measures will help save families thousands of dollars annually, as the yearly expense for infant care in New York continues to escalate—now averaging more than $15,000. I was proud to have two bills included in the ABC plan. The first would provide property tax exemptions for child care providers that would be passed through to parents to lower their costs. The second would help create a pool of licensed, qualified substitute staff members to help child care providers remain open when one of their employees is absent from work. This will prevent last-minute closures that leave parents struggling to find child care when illnesses, injuries, appointments or other realities of life happen.

The ABC plan invests in the well-being of New York’s children by ensuring they have access to quality care and a safe, nurturing learning environment. Studies have shown enriching educational experiences during this crucial developmental stage help prepare children for a lifetime of success. An investment in child care is an investment in future generations, and the state has a responsibility to ease the burden on parents.

With the state budget deadline looming, I urge Gov.Kathy Hochul and every member of the Legislature to join me to make child care a priority. Too many families across New York struggle to secure affordable, quality care for their children, and now we have a plan to address it.