child care

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U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday called on Congress to include a proposal for a $50 billion fund in the next coronavirus relief package in an effort to combat an “unprecedented day care crisis.”

Gillibrand said that 4 million children could lose access to care when their parents or guardians physically go back to work as the economy reopens.

“There’s just not enough availability for every kid that wants to be in day care to be in day care in most states today,” Gillibrand said.

The Children’s Agenda recently released a new report that shows there’s a growing shortage of affordable and available child care services, both locally and nationally. According to the report, Rochester has seen improvements in the availability of child care for children in pre-K, but options for infants and toddlers are increasingly difficult to find. The Children’s Agenda is calling on local, state, and federal partners to invest more in the child care system and in providers.

This hour, we discuss the report and The Children’s Agenda’s priorities. We also hear from providers and from parents who share the challenges they’ve faced finding child care. In studio:

Election Day is just over three weeks away. Voters have a wide range of issues that they prioritize. This hour, our guests are asking you to think about children. In particular, they're talking about children in need in our community. We discuss funding for early intervention services and preschool special education services. We also talk about challenges for child protective services. The conversation comes in advance of an upcoming candidate forum hosted by The Children's Agenda.

Our guests make their case for the kinds of priorities they think voters and candidates should have if they're putting kids first. In studio:

Beth Adams/WXXI News

The tragic death of a toddler this week is sparking conversations about access to child care.

On Monday, a 3-year-old boy was taken by his mother to the Tim Hortons coffee shop where she works because no one else was available to care for the child, according to Rochester police.

The boy died after falling into a grease trap behind the restaurant.

Rosanna Yule - Monroe Community College

Monroe Community College is exploring ways to help single mothers stay in school and get their degrees.

"They are a paradox,” said MCC research specialist Mary Ann DeMario.

She’s leading a six year research project that will examine why single moms enroll in college, but then drop out.

Over the past 15 years, the number of Monroe County children benefiting from child care subsidies has fallen substantially. Today, we take a look at what that means from a business standpoint. It might seem crude, but it turns out there's a direct relationship between child care funding and the success of the local business community.

That subject is the specialty of Rob Grunewald, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He's in Rochester as a guest speaker, and he's one of our guests on Connections:

Veronica Volk / WXXI

ALBANY (AP) New York may allow the parents of young children to defer a piece of their state taxes to help cover the cost of child care.

The proposal was announced this past week by state Sen. Daniel Squadron and is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. The Brooklyn Democrat said in an interview that as the parent of young children, he understands the financial burden it can bring.

freeimages.com/Anissa Thompson

Members of a coalition of local community and faith-based groups will be staging a rally outside the Monroe County Office Building this evening.

They're calling on all three candidates for county executive to pledge to double of the number of children who receive child care assistance.

The poor are getting poorer, and we see that reality through a set of new data focusing on families receiving child care subsidies. According to the Center for Governmental Research, families in Monroe County receiving child care subsidies have grown significantly poorer in recent years. Child care remains a huge expense. We'll look at day care costs, and how impoverished working families are trying to get by with our guests:

  • Erika Rosenberg, Center for Governmental Research
  • Larry Marx, executive director of The Children's Agenda
  • Katherine Smith, League of Women Voters
  • Amanda Gage, parent with children in day care

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Senator Rich Funke and Senator Joe Robach announce they have successfully advocated for additional funds to help families in Monroe County. As part of the 2015-2016 state budget, the county will receive $2.3 million toward child care subsidies. This money comes in addition to the funding the county receives through the state's Child Care Block Grant.

Funke says it is estimated this money will help an additional 375 children.