Panel calls on Suffolk to contribute more to child care

In the report, the commission acknowledges that there are not enough spots for all kids in Suffolk to get early childhood education. (6/23/14)

SMITHTOWN - A panel has recommended that Suffolk County do more to help low-income, working parents get access to affordable child care.

The Suffolk County Welfare to Work Commission released a report today assessing child care and early childhood education in the county. The commission says working parents are often faced with situations where even very small increases in pay can disqualify them from receiving subsidized child care.

"We ought to incentivize work. When you have policies that work against people working, it's counterproductive,” says Dr. Richard Koubek, commission chair.

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Among its recommendations, the commission wants to change the funding formula for low-income working families to qualify for subsidies. It also recommends allocating more county funds and creating a Suffolk Child Care and Early Learning Commission to coordinate services.

The commission also hopes Suffolk legislators can investigate why Nassau receives millions more in state funding to help low-income, working families pay for child care.

The commission will present its findings to the county Legislature next month.

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