CSEA/VOICE with child care coalition partners call for major investment in NY working families

Major action for child care movement yields progress for women, children and families

CSEA/VOICE with child care coalition partners call for major investment in NY working families

ALBANY — CSEA/VOICE Local 100A activists joined more than 600 child care advocates, child care providers, parents and elected officials to call for a major investment – $5 billion for working families in New York state.

The recent virtual kickoff event, aimed at making universal child care a reality in New York, outlined proposals for fixing systemic issues within the child care system.

These proposals include changes that will improve the lives of thousands of CSEA members, including members who are part of the child care workforce, comprised of more than 95 percent of women-owned small businesses.

Federal and state elected officials also spoke in support for the $5 billion investment, including U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, State Sen. Jabari Brisport, chair of the Senate’s Children and Families Committee; Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, chair of the Assembly Children and Families Committee; State Sen. Jessica Ramos, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor; Assemblymember Sarah Clark and Assemblymember Michaelle Solages.

CSEA/VOICE members, along with partner members of the Empire State Coalition for Child Care (ESCCC), will be following up in the coming weeks with legislative meetings and actions across the state to advocate for providers and families with more state leaders. They will be sharing the latest research on the true cost of child care and child care’s high return on investment.

Art Rolnick, Ph.D., associate economist at the University of Minnesota, addressed the group regarding this new research.

“Quality early childhood education is a good investment. Such programs, if they appear at all, are at the bottom of the economic development list. That is a mistake,” Rolnick said. “These children are our future workforce. Research shows that quality early childhood programs yield up to an 18 percent annual rate of return. Show me a better public return. They should be at the top of the list … This is a good investment for the state of New York.”

CSEA/VOICE Local 100A leaders and activists are meeting with elected officials to stress the importance of this investment for working families.

CSEA/VOICE Local 100A Vice President Ronora James, top left, joins other providers, advocates and elected officials to discuss improvements to child care. At bottom right is State Sen. Jabari Brisport, chair of the Senate’s Children and Families Committee.

“There are more than 50 CSEA/VOICE members signed up from the greater Monroe County area and have scheduled visits with all of our state Senate and Assembly members to advocate for this funding in this year’s state budget,” said Ronora James, CSEA/VOICE Local 100A Vice President and a Group Family Child Care Provider.

Also advocating for the proposals is Heidi-Jo Brandt, a Group Family Child Care Provider who is also the CSEA/VOICE Local 100A Ulster Chapter Representative and a member of our union’s Statewide Political Action Committee.

CSEA/VOICE Local 100A activist Heidi-Jo Brandt, top left, joins other providers, advocates and elected officials to discuss improvements to child care. At bottom right is State Sen. Jabari Brisport, chair of the Senate’s Children and Families Committee.

“New York’s in-home child care providers are in crisis, New York’s children and families are in crisis, this puts New York’s workforce in crisis,” Brandt said. “Substantial investments in child care are imperative to advancing equality and accessibility for ALL children and families across the state, while sustaining quality in-home child care educators.”

— Jill Asencio

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Jill Asencio

Jill Asencio is the statewide communications specialist assigned to CSEA Headquarters in Albany. She is a summa cum laude graduate of The College of Saint Rose and award-winning photo/video journalist and public relations professional. As part of CSEA’s communication team since 2007, she found her passion in labor, advocating for children and New York’s working families. Asencio understands first-hand the value of growing up in a union household and the deep connection unions have in ensuring strong, educated and healthy families.

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