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Roundtable Tackles Challenges of Child Care

Ebony White, Director of Workforce & Employer Development for The Business Council of Westchester, recently participated in a roundtable discussion about child care held by Assemblywoman Shelly Mayer. The roundtable, which was held October 26 at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, was a robust conversation amongst a diverse group of individuals representing the child care industry, child care union, parents, business, government and education. Also in attendance were Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe.

Participants shared key child care issues from their respective viewpoint or perspective. Many of the responses included the challenges of accessing and providing affordable, quality care. Many are also facing the dilemma of trying to provide a fair balance between maintaining financial stability, keeping quality employees and providing programs that are affordable. “A number of providers are losing quality employees due to the inability to pay higher wages. In addition, the importance of corporate support of childcare and the impact on economic development were also discussed,” said White who added, “There is a need and a desire to have the business community participate as bigger partner on this issue.”

In order to better meet the needs of children, families and child care providers and examine long-term strategies to improve access to quality, affordable child care, the Committee on Children and Families and the Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues are holding roundtables across the state. Information from the roundtables will be combined with the findings from others held around the state. Recommendations and next steps will follow. From left, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe, Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

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