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What the Heck Happened to Child Care?

BCW member Kathleen Halas, executive director of the Child Care Council of Westchester, recently published an editorial in Journal News about the continuing failure to address long-standing deficiencies in U.S. child care.

In the piece, the Child Care Council challenges federal officials to fulfill promises made to working families. This advocacy has a long history. The BCW has worked with the Child Care Council for years to convene numerous roundtable discussions with business leaders from different sectors. When Gov. Kathy Hochul was lieutenant governor, she participated in one of those discussions.

As an original member of the BCW’s Legislative Enhanced Advocacy Program, the Child Care Council helped the business community understand the importance of having safe, affordable and sustainable child care facilities for employees. It is a known fact that child care is one of the major issues that employees face. Not securing child care has an impact on their daily lives and has an impact on their job performance. If employers are more engaged in this issue it helps them with recruitment and retention.

According to the Child Care Council, working parents and students in Westchester have trouble finding reliable, affordable, high-quality child care services. In Westchester County, the average, annual cost of center-based care for an infant is $21,000. The Child Care Council also found that lack of access to child care services affects parents’ employment. About 60% of parents in Westchester report that child care issues impact their work and 75% of employers report that child care issues result in absenteeism and productivity loss.

Click here to read the editorial.

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