LI parents to head to Albany to fight for child care funds

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ALBANY -

Long Island parents will head to Albany Monday where they plan to ask lawmakers to set aside extra money to help working parents pay for child care.

A coalition of advocates, child care providers, teachers and parents say state officials need to devote more funding to child care and early childhood education.

"The governor really needs to be paying attention to the needs on Long Island and that's what we're going up to point out," says Jan Barbieri, the executive director of the Child Care Council of Nassau.

Barbieri says that Nassau and Suffolk counties haven't gotten their fair share of funding for programs like universal pre-K. She says that, coupled with a high cost of living and child care costs, can make it difficult for parents to stay afloat.

"Infant care on Long Island is about 25 percent of a parent's salary, a little bit less for a preschooler," Barbieri says.

"It's definitely difficult, you need two salaries," says Dawn Quimbay. "That's the only way to survive."

Barbieri says the state should pour an additional $51 million into subsidies statewide to reach more children in need.
According to the Child Care Council's data, the state's current funding levels can only provide subsidies for 25 percent of children eligible.

The Committee for Economic Development reports that infant care costs parents in New York an average of more than $15,000 a year.

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