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Parents, providers, and council members introduce child care bill

The bill looks to lessen the financial burden on families looking for child care and looks to provide child care to both documented and undocumented children.

News 12 Staff

Mar 2, 2023, 10:56 PM

Updated 476 days ago

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Advocates, parents, and elected officials came together on the steps of City Hall on Thursday to introduce a new bill that would help bring New Yorkers closer to free child care.
The bill looks to ease the financial burden on families that are looking for child care while supporting the workers who provide it. It includes free child care to both documented and undocumented children from 6 weeks to 5 years old.
This legislation looks to expand the hours of child care operation, while providing equal pay to all providers. It will look to convert currently vacant commercial spaces in our city to provide more child care locations.
Inspired by their own struggles to choose between working and being a parent, Council Members Jennifer Gutiérrez and Kevin Riley introduced the bill at Thursday’s City Council meeting.
"When you're a parent, you don't get a handbook on how expensive and how challenging it can be to find adequate childcare within your communities," Riley said.
Working mother Marilyn Mendoza said she knows that challenge all too well.
"Sometimes you do think about, like maybe I should take a step back," she said
On days when her relatives can't watch her 2-year-old son, Mendoza said she has no choice but to bring him to work with her.
"But I still have to manage my job responsibilities and also be a mom and make sure he's not running around," she said.
Lawmakers said the annual cost of child care in New York City can range anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.
At this time, Gutiérrez said there is no exact figure on how expensive the bill will be for the city. She said that it will be a large number but that lawmakers should look at it as an investment rather than a cost.
The goal is to have this legislation implemented in the next four to five years.


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