Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley on Access to Quality, Affordable Child Care
On Mother’s Day, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member reflects on value of early childhood supports
I joined the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office nearly thirty years ago, and during that time raised two children while pursuing a fast-paced legal career. As I reflect on my professional success and pride in my children, I recognize how lucky I was to have a robust support system to lean on when I had to spend late nights in the office or time over the weekend working on an important case.
As a mother, I witnessed firsthand the quick growth and development of my children as they explored the world around them, began to speak, and learned new skills. Research also tells us that during their first few years, children’s brains develop over one million neural connections per second. This is why the environment that young children are exposed to is so critical, not just during those first few years, but even later in life as they prepare to enter school and make decisions that will impact their futures. Unfortunately, while I was able to provide a healthy, nurturing environment for my children, not all parents have access to quality child care that does just that.
The environment that young children are exposed to is critical.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney
Sixty-four percent of New Yorkers live in child care deserts and do not have access to a program that would allow them to leave their child in a safe environment while they attend work. Even those who may have child care available nearby may not be able to bear the burden of the increasing costs of these programs. That not only creates a potential missed opportunity for a child’s early development and socialization, but also for a parent’s ability to work.
I am proud to offer support for employees working in the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, like flexibility for new parents and part-time positions for Assistant District Attorneys looking for more work-home balance. However, I know that not all working parents have these options available through their workplace and need to turn to other venues to find a safe, nurturing environment for their children during the workday. This Mother’s Day, I am grateful for the quality child care that I had access to, and hope that more parents across New York State will soon be able to say the same.