Status of Child Care in New York State Report Release

Status of Child Care in New York State Report Release

Date: February 29, 2024

Two out of five New Yorkers with children report that they or an adult member of their household decided to forgo employment outside of their home due to child care, according to survey data from Cornell University’s 2023 Empire State Poll. Child care issues are inextricably linked to New York’s current workforce issues; if parents are unable to work due to child care issues, the labor shortages we are experiencing are exacerbated. Findings also suggest child care professionals earn among the lowest in wages and salaries among all New York State professions.

Since 2021, Cornell University’s ILR Buffalo Co-Lab has partnered with New York State legislators, Erie County child care providers, the Western New York Child Care Action Team, Live Well Erie, SUNY University at Buffalo Department of Sociology, and advocates to determine the “true” cost of child care. The initial influx of NYS funding helped to stabilize the child care industry during and immediately after the pandemic. Since the pandemic, however, the availability of child care has not improved, and has even worsened, in many parts of New York State.

Despite this crisis facing the child care industry, national data have proven that the economic return on investment for child care is high. Furthermore, research shows that a child care compensation fund would raise wages for all child care workers.

Join the roll-out on March 8, 2024 from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Crane Library, 633 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222, second floor. The program will include a presentation on the state of child care in New York State by Dr. Rusty Weaver and Dr. Steve Peraza. Speakers include child care workers, parents, and partners like the WNY Women’s Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, the John R. Oshei Foundation, and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. Community members will comment on how the child care issue is compounding its employer member shortages. Senator Jabari Brisport, Chair of Committee on Children and Families, Assemblymember Monica Wallace, and additional representatives of the Western New York Delegation will share their feedback and insights as well.

This event is free, open to the public, and is intended for employers, activists, government, elected officials, staff, and anyone interested in learning more about the child care in New York.