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  • Brian R. Monahan

Assembly Republicans unveil childcare access plan



The plan is pitched as a “three-pronged” approach by the Assembly Republican Conference to enhance childcare access in New York – referred to as “A Blueprint for Childcare (ABC) Plan” in a press conference earlier this week.


The first prong of 7 bills is designed to increase tax incentives to providers and families, amounting to $1 billion in investment. The conference cites studies showing that by providing more funding directly to families and businesses, “the child poverty rate is significantly reduced and access to quality childcare programs becomes more readily available.”  


“The rising child poverty rate reflects a failure to provide adequate support and opportunities for our most vulnerable population, a pressing concern that demands urgent attention,” said Asm. Ed Ra, a sponsor of numerous bills of the ABC Plan. “We have the power to change this trend through targeted investments in childcare. The solutions we propose—increased tax incentives, expansion of early childhood education and increasing accessibility and availability of childcare—exemplify our commitment to laying a strong foundation for educational success.”


The second prong, sponsored by Asm. Josh Jensen, would expand access to early childhood education by increasing state reimbursement rates to school districts for universal pre-K and expand collaboration between school districts with childcare agencies, ensuring school districts and childcare agencies follow the same regulations regarding staffing ratios and class sizes and calling on the commissioner of education to streamline the universal pre-k hiring process.


The third prong, a part of which is sponsored by Asm. Jarett Gandolfo, centers on increasing accessibility and tackling affordability. This would be done through the Office of Children and Family services and centers on amending rules and regulations, boosting subsidies for childcare with a regional cost factor and conducting studies on barriers to childcare.


“Families are continually in need of adequate child care as they work to support their families in the face of New York’s continuing economic hardships. Our current systems are somewhat restrictive today, which is why I’m advocating for proposals that allow for more childcare facilities to be developed and for the state to measure childcare subsidies based on the region of the state. I’m hoping our colleagues across the aisle will join us in the fight for further childcare advancements and further family support in New York,” said Gandolfo.

 

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