Mission: Readiness and ReadyNation Members Meet with Legislators in Albany
New York members discussed the state’s infant-toddler child care crisis with state legislators
On March 11 and 13, members of Mission: Readiness and ReadyNation New York traveled to Albany to meet with their state legislators and members of the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees. During a busy couple of days, our members met with 16 legislative offices and shared our new research brief with an additional 10 offices. The meetings centered on New York State’s infant-toddler child crisis and its impact on our economy and national security.
Assemblyman Kenneth Blankenbush meets with Associate Director Catherine Van Ness, ReadyNation member and Cortland County Chamber of Commerce Present/CEO Bob Haight, and Mission: Readiness member Rear Admiral (ret.) John Paddock, Jr.
We need to increase the pool of eligible recruits and we know that high-quality early education can help us do that.
Mission: Readiness member Rear Admiral John Paddock, Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired)
Currently, 71 percent of young adults ages 17-24 do not qualify for military service even if they wanted to join the force, due to educational deficits, health issues, and behavioral problems. The early brain development that occurs before the age of three sets the stage for future success in school and in life. Higher quality child care has been shown to reduce later behavior problems and slightly improve academic performance. Conversely, lack of such care has high costs, for children and families, and for our state’s economy.
I am not just concerned about infants’ early brain development. As a businessman, I am also concerned about our state’s economy.
ReadyNation member Bob Haight, Cortland County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO
Our recent study of working parents of children under age three found that when families do not have the child care they need, parents’ work productivity falls, resulting in costs to parents, their employers, and taxpayers. These child care challenges inflict an annual cost of $57 billion in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue. Support for high-quality child care is an investment in our future national security, public safety, and economic well-being.
We need to think about ways to better support New York’s child care system to set kids up to succeed from their earliest years.
Mission: Readiness member Brigadier General Debra Scullary, U.S. Air Force (Retired)
Parents of infants and toddlers in New York face two major challenges if they need child care: accessibility and affordability. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of all New York residents live in a child care desert, an area in which there are more than three times as many children as licensed child care slots. This is especially prevalent in rural areas of the state. The high cost of center-based child care also poses a problem for many families, with the average cost of over $15,000 being double that of public college tuition.
Assemblyman Philip Palmesano meets with Brigadier General (ret.) Debra Scullary off the Assembly chamber floor.
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