CSEA/VOICE and the union’s Empire State Campaign for Child Care partners joined advocates across the state for a virtual rally and press conference to kick off a series of actions planned throughout the month.
CSEA Child Care Local President Pam Wells appealed to the group of more than 500 attendees, which included providers, parents, advocates, elected officials and members of the media. The cost of care has surged due to the need of social distancing, protective gear, cost of operating, cleaning, and disinfecting supplies, food and additional expense for staff.
“Many of us have utilizing our savings and credit cards to remain open for our communities while we build back to our pre-COVID-19 enrollment,” Wells said. “We need help. We need you to support child care recovery and investment.”
Heidi-Jo Brandt, CSEA/VOICE Ulster Chapter Representative and CSEA Statewide Political Action Committee member spoke with State. Sen. Michelle Hinchey and advocacy partners via virtual Zoom meetings with lawmakers across the state to ensure lawmakers hear the current state of NY child care.
Brandt stressed that child care needs to be a priority. “We must deal with massive program closures to ensure working families have access to the child care they need,” she said. “It is vital for our state’s recovery,” she said.
“We are here today because we have hope; working together, with you, our communities, our governor, and our legislators,” said Wells. “We can and will build back better.”
— Jill Asencio