Public Policy & Advocacy
Through research and support of child care friendly public policy and advocacy, Child Care Council of Nassau serves as an informational resource and public voice for issues facing Nassau County’s diverse communities. Our involvement in Public Policy includes participation in various organizations and coalitions, assisting in the formulations of legislative agendas and educating elected officials about specific child care issues, as well as informing the public about issues via newsletters, email alerts, Facebook and Twitter and urging constituent actions (including legislative visits, letters, emails and tweets). Much of our Public Policy activities are included below.
FEDERAL BUDGET: The First Five Years Fund (FFYF) has published its findings from their 2017 national bipartisan poll.
The poll showed that every single proposal tested—including expanding the federal partnership with states and communities through grants to improve access to preschool, tripling the current child care tax credit, and even providing greater funding for programs like Head Start—received overwhelming voter support regardless of partisan affiliation. Check out the details here!
Congress will be on recess in August. We need to make an all out effort to meet with our representatives in their local offices to make sure all of them understand the importance of funding the Child Care Development Block Grant and the work of the Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.
Contact the Council if you are available to accompany us on these visits in support of these issues!
NEW YORK STATE INITIATIVES:
Child Care Council of Nassau believes New York State must ensure that parents have access to high-quality early care and learning programs. We support the WinningBeginningNY (New York State's early care and learning coalition) initiatives that call for investing funds in child care subsidies, Universal Pre-K and Universal After School programs. These programs are essential for children’s success and the economic recovery of our county. Child Care Council of Nassau works closely with Child Care Council of Suffolk to advocate for quality care for all children. View the Winning Beginning NY website here.
As members of the WinningBeginningNY coalition, Council assisted in the creation of the 2017 Legislative Agenda outlining the priorities and continuum of high quality services essential to young children and their families and containing budget requests for specific programs.
NYS BUDGET ASK FOR CHILD CARE:
1. INVEST $100 million for Child Care Assistance.
2. CREATE an Early Childhood Learning Fund with a Dedicated Revenue Stream to Serve Significantly More Children who are Eligible but Going Unserved Because of Lack of Funding.
3. IMPLEMENT New Federal Block Grant Requirements without Passing Costs onto Providers.
New York State Public Policy Update
- Final NYS budget cut funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) statewide by $7 million, impacting the subsidies for families across the state. Working families in Nassau County who are eligible for subsidies continue to be served at 200% of poverty, that is $49,200 for a family of four.
- While there was some additional funding for UPK there was no commitment to funding new health and safety requirements for CCDBG regulations that are due to be implemented very soon.
- New tax credit included will increase the current NYS Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit to benefit families earning between $60,000 and $150,000 by raising the tax credit from $169 to $376 per household.
- Danielle Asher presented a regional report to the Senate Committee on Children and Families, and the Assembly Legislative Taskforce on Women's Issues on behalf of Child Care Councils of Nassau and Suffolk.
- There is an effort to get a Child Care Availability Task Force bill passed in both the Assembly (A.7726) and Senate (S.5929) before the end of the legislative session. A Child Care Task Force is an important first step towards solving the state's severe shortage of quality, affordable care. Please call your representatives to support this effort!
CCDBG Legislative & Regulatory Recommendations from Winning Beginning NY:
- Implement 12-month eligibility period for families: Long-Term Cost Estimate: Cost Neutral
- Implement improved payment practices to providers: Long-Term Cost Estimate: Cost Neutral
- Criminal background checks: OCFS Annual Cost Estimate: $28m annual cost
- Implement new training components without additional cost to providers: OCFS Annual Cost Estimate: $28m annual cost
- Improve access to child care subsidies for children experiencing homelessness
CCDBG Reauthorization: With the passage of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, which includes basic improvements to the CCDBG program to ensure that children are safe when in child care. This CCDBG Reauthorization provides some common sense, low-cost provisions that will greatly improve the quality of child care. One important requirement is ensuring that providers have criminal background checks.
A Picture of Long Island’s Children
On October 24, 2014, the updated report titled The Child Care Industry: An Integral Part of Long Island's Economy was released at a meeting at Long Island Association (LIA) in Melville. The report is part of a campaign that aims to highlight the economic importance of child care on Long Island. About 55 business executives and Child Care Council board member representatives were present at the meeting. The report was funded by the Rauch Foundation and United Way of Long Island, and was written by LIA chief economist John Rizzo, with contributions from the Child Care Councils of Nassau and Suffolk and CJ2 Communication Strategies. In addition to LIA announcing that it would make child care a top priority, the meeting also included a wonderfully compelling presentation from keynote speaker Bill Millet on the importance of child care to the economic vitality of Long Island. View the report here.
A 2012 LI Index report states that quality child care is inconsistent. It stresses the need to improve coordination among providers. The study also recommends professional development for providers, establishing incentives for providers to participate in New York State’s Quality Stars program, and specific actions to improve access. Most important is the need for parents to recognize the value of early childhood services.
Nassau County decreased the subsidy eligibility level in January of 2013 to 200% of poverty level (from 275% for a family of 2 and 225% for a family of 4.) This resulted in a significant loss for families.
Quality We continue to urge New York to move forward with implementing QUALITYstarsNY (QSNY). QSNY is a quality rating system that will provide program improvement support to early childhood programs and offer parents the tools and information to make informed choices about early childhood programs. Field tests have been conducted and funding is needed for the first year of implementation.
Universal Pre-K: We continue to support maintaining and expanding number of children enrolled in high-quality universal Pre-K.
Please visit our Action Center & Resources section for more information and specific links.