‘Pay us,’ childcare workforce of women and women of color demand higher pay


Last week, Mayor Eric Adams pledged to invest in the city’s 500,000 children under the age of five in his childcare and early education blueprint. But many say that much of the money should go to chronically underfunded childcare providers.

“As a child, my mother had to work three jobs and still find a way to take care of me and my siblings,” Adams said in a statement. “And during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 375,000 parents were forced to quit or move their jobs because they had no other way to care for their children. Now my administration is working to make sure that no parent has to make that difficult choice between childcare and putting food on their table again.”

According to the city, about “52% of New York City families with children under the age of four cannot afford childcare, and since the start of the pandemic, one in four parents has had to turn down a job, change jobs or take leave . due to childcare needs.”

The plan aims to support working families, reverse the economic impact for parents of color and boost the economy. The child care allocations in the city budget include $9.2 million for low-income vouchers, plus a promised $800 million in investments over the next four years. Altogether, the funding should yield an approximate total of $2 billion in child care spending, the mayor’s office said.

There will be a new application available on an online portal that will cut through the hassle and “ease the frustrations” of an often difficult and complicated application process for families. It also allows $10 million in investments for undocumented families to receive child care benefits and will expand access to child care in “high-need neighborhoods” citywide.

“This investment in early childhood education will greatly benefit working families by providing accessible child care and taking major steps to include undocumented families who were previously excluded from these opportunities,” U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat said in a statement.

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