Mayor Eric Adams waged what he called “a real battle” on Monday to increase access to quality child care.
Donning masks at the Kuei Luck Early Childhood Center in Rego Park, Queens, Adams echoed calls for increased investment in the state budget for early childhood education.
“Today, our entire team is in Albany in the halls, and our priority is to fight on behalf of this critical child care issue as we head into the budget closing spot,” Adams said. during the press conference.
The move would help women in particular, who are disproportionately affected when childcare issues arise and they are faced with staying home or quitting their jobs, according to the mayor.
The funding would be used to better compensate child care providers and strengthen existing programs. Those dollars could create capacity in new and old facilities — about 17,000 additional seats, including in childcare deserts where programs aren’t widely available.
“If we want to start the process of developing great adults, then start developing great children, and that happens in a child care environment,” Adams said.
Schools Chancellor David Banks has called it “crucially important” to provide young children with literacy and language support from birth.
“We know that the first three years of a child’s life have a profound impact on their future learning and can change the trajectory of their growth,” Banks said.
Governor Kathy Hochul’s executive budget proposal included an increase in state spending on child care, but both chambers have since requested additional funds.
Adams, who was optimistic Monday that state support would materialize, said those dollars would complement the city’s proposals to increase seats.
“My wish is that all parents in New York City have peace of mind,” said Kevin Kung, executive director of the Queens Daycare Center, “and can drop their kids off and go to work, and know their kids are having a good day. .”