Lawmakers push for $50 billion in federal funding to keep child care facilities afloat
There's a push by lawmakers to get federal funding to keep child care facilities afloat so that working parents who need to return to the office in person have the help they need.
Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages is among a group of lawmakers pushing for $50 billion in funding in the next federal coronavirus relief package.
"NYS can't look at recovery unless they fully fund child care centers," says Solages. "There's no way we can go about reopening businesses unless parents know their children can be in an affordable and safe child care place."
Academic Munchkins in Valley Stream is one child care center that never closed at the height of the pandemic. Owner Vivian Stein says the center was able to provide care to the children of front-line workers in March. While it helped to have some business, the move drastically cut class sizes and forced the owner to furlough a number of teachers. The owner says it has been the toughest time in her 25 years of business. Stein says she even had to use $10,000 of her own money to pay for necessary supplies.
"We're working it out," says Stein. "Things are coming along and things are improving little by little."
Sanjay Lama, of Lynbrook, has sent her two daughters back to Academic Munchkins now that she and her husband have returned to work.
"It scares me, but I can't keep them home because we both work," says Lama.
The center does expect to have about 50% of its students return in September, but there's still a long road ahead.