On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, staff members of the Chautauqua Child Care Council of Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. joined over 500 other attendees from across New York State for the “Save New York Child Care Campaign 2021” virtual event. The February 2nd event was a kickoff for upcoming virtual Advocacy Days on February 9th and 16th.
Child care providers, parents, educators, advocates, and lawmakers were among those who attended the February 2nd event. Co-sponsors of the rally and press conference included the Empire State Campaign for Child Care (ESCCC) and Winning Beginning New York, as well as several other organizations and child care programs. There were a number of policymakers slated to speak at the rally including New York State Senators Jabari Brisport, Chair of the Committee on Children; Shelley Mayer, Chair of the Committee on Education; and Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Committee on Transportation. Assembly members included Andrew Hevesi, Chair of the Committee for Children and Families, and Didi Barrett, Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus.
The grassroots ESCCC, per its website, was “founded in the wake” of Governor Cuomo’s threats to cut child care subsidies by $27 million dollars in 2017. According to a flyer sent to attendees of the February event, ESCCC believes “our current child care system, though essential, is undervalued and underfunded.” The campaign states that “these problems stem from historic patterns of racial and gender discrimination and injustice.” ESCCC is asking for an increase of $500 million for child care in the New York State budget.
More information about the event and the Empire State Campaign for Child Care can be found on the ESCCC website at www.empirestatechildcare.org.
Parents who are looking for high-quality registered or licensed child care can contact the Chautauqua Child Care Council at 1-800-424-4532 or www.chautauquaopportunities.com. The Council can also assist parents in finding help paying for child care.