OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for a rescue package for child care. She told people in Ogdensburg Friday the pandemic has many child care centers closing their doors.
There has never been enough child care and now there’s even less due to COVID-19. That could create a crisis as parents go back to work.
“They need safe, accessible, affordable child care and now the need is greater than it’s ever been,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D. - NY).
Senator Gillibrand wants Congress to establish a $50 billion child care stabilization fund. She was in Ogdensburg Friday to rally people behind it – and sound the alarm.
“Without adequate federal assistance, we are at risk of losing 4.5 million child care slots nationwide,” she said.
When COVID-19 hit, child care enrollment plummeted. Many centers closed.
Canton Day Care Center remains open and enrollment is recovering, but now there are big bills to pay.
“We are in a pretty good place, but we are in a very precarious place and we are whipsawed by the situation,” Kathy Mullaney, Canton Day Care Center treasurer.
The north country is what’s called a child care desert as it is. There are 6 children needing child care here for every one slot open.
There was one point made over and over again at the event. And that is, that daycare is critical infrastructure for economic development.
“Child care is the linchpin of our economy and of our economic recovery,” said Gillibrand. “Throughout this crisis, child care providers have been the essential workers behind the essential workers.”
Gillibrand wants the $50 billion made available as grants to child care providers as part of current stimulus efforts.