Directs the office of children and family services to study and report on the availability of child day care for working parents.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to direct the office of children and family services to examine, evaluate and make recommendations on the availability of day care for children; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
The purpose of this bill is to have the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), in consultation with the Department of Labor, examine, evaluate and make recommendations concerning the availability of day care for children in this State. OCFS shall review with particular care on the impact of the lack of access to necessary day care services on the ability of women in or near poverty to enter into the workforce.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new section to direct the Office of Children and Family Services to conduct a study that includes an evaluation and recommendations for the availability of child care services in New York State. OCFS shall consult with the Department of Labor. Additionally, OCFS shall review the impact of the lack of childcare upon women in poverty trying to enter the workforce.
Specifically, this section directs OCFS, when conducting this study, to:
*Establish an inventory of affordable daycare for working families and those in or near poverty; *Identify geographic shortage areas, taking in to account provider waiting lists, and calculate projections of daycare needs based on regional birth rates, employment rates and population growth; *Compare, on a statewide and regional basis, the current demand for daycare as well as its need over the next five years, analyzing whether the current projected growth rate of providers is sufficient to meet the need; *Assess the cost of daycare on a regional basis; *Identify childcare access needs statewide and regionally for parents working nontraditional hours, such as night and swing shifts; *Identify transportation concerns and needs of working parents needing childcare; *Identify policies that would encourage establishment and operation of childcare providers near mass transit hubs; *Identify policies that would increase the number and capacity of childcare providers; *Identify policies that would increase the number of childcare providers in neighborhoods and communities where low-income families live or work; and * Identify and quantify factors that contribute to a quality day care and are used to identify violations by day care providers, and procedures for establishing quality child care in those communities with the greatest need.
Section 2 authorizes OCFS to request and receive any additional information from any state agency it deems relevant and material to the study.
Section 3 directs the Commissioner to submit a report to the Governor and Legislature, on or before May 1, 2014, on the study's findings, conclusions and recommendations. The Commissioner shall also submit proposed legislation to implement the recommendations. The report is to be made publicly available on the OCFS website.
Section 4 provides the effective date.
Lack of access to affordable, quality childcare is a major impediment for women who would like to enter and stay in the workforce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 4.3 million working women in New York State. Of those, 1.2 million are working mothers. However, there have only been about 19,000 licensed providers across the state over the last decade, according to the Office of Children and Family Services. Parents, who are unable to afford licensed day care providers or programs, are sometimes forced to choose between placing their children with less reliable options or leaving them home alone. Some parents are forced to reduce work hours or quit jobs altogether to remain home and care for their children.
This study is an important step in quantifying the existing need in New York State by region. It not only looks at the number of providers, but also the cost, quality, transportation barriers in getting to and from work, home and the provider, and the hours served Only about 1,600 day care centers provide overnight and other nontraditional hours of care. The latter are especially important to working mothers, as they often need to work such shifts to provide for their families. These women desperately need child care assistance, as they make up a majority of families in poverty.
Of all the economic empowerment building blocks for women, quality affordable child care is one of the most vital. According to the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center, lack of affordable child care is the number one reason why women are not able to choose a different career path that can include or lead to higher paying careers in industries such as the building trades and other expanding industries.
This legislation is fundamentally needed for the economic security and empowerment of working women and low-income families.
This act shall take effect immediately, and shall expire and be deemed repealed May 3, 2014.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5250 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 15, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. CARLUCCI, KLEIN, SAVINO, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families AN ACT to direct the office of children and family services to examine, evaluate and make recommendations on the availability of day care for children; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expira- tion thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The office of children and family services, in consultation with the department of labor, shall examine, evaluate and make recommen- dations concerning the availability of day care for children in the state. Such office shall pay particular attention to the impact of the lack of necessary day care upon the ability of women in poverty and those in working families to enter the labor force. The office of chil- dren and family services shall direct its attention to: (a) establishing an inventory of affordable day care for working fami- lies and those in or near poverty; (b) geographically identifying day care shortage areas on a regional basis and projections of the future demand for day care based on the regional birth rates, employment and population growth rates; (c) comparing on a statewide and regional basis, the demand for day care services over the succeeding 5 years, including whether the projected growth rate in the day care industry will be sufficient to meet such future needs; (d) assessing the cost of day care for children on a regional basis; (e) identifying nontraditional child care needs within the state and regionally for parents who work other than a 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. shift or part-time, including those who work night shifts or swing shifts, and those parents who require early drop off and/or late pick up services from their child care provider;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10807-02-3 S. 5250 2
(f) identifying the transportation concerns and needs of working parents and those in or near poverty who need to utilize day care, and identifying policies that would encourage the establishment and opera- tion of day care providers near mass transportation hubs; (g) identifying policies that would encourage the establishment and operation of more child day care center providers and increasing the capacity of existing day care providers; (h) identifying policies that would encourage and facilitate expansion of quality day care services by neighbors and in communities where the working poor live or work; and (i) identifying and quantifying those factors that contribute to qual- ity child day care, are used to identify day care providers who are committing violations, how such violations are addressed or prevented, and procedures for establishing quality child day care in those communi- ties with the greatest needs. S 2. The office of children and family services may request and shall receive any information from state agencies that is relevant and materi- al to the study required by section one of this act. S 3. On or before May 1, 2014, the commissioner of children and family services shall submit a report, to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the senate and the minority leader of the assembly, on the office's find- ings, conclusions and recommendations, and shall submit therewith such legislative proposals as the office of children and family services shall deem necessary to implement its recommendations. In addition, such office shall make such report available to the public and post it on the internet website operated by the office. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately, and shall expire and be deemed repealed May 3, 2014.