Child Care

About the issue

To have a thriving economy that encourages young families to live and work in New York, our city needs accessible, high-quality child care for children under five. And yet, quality child care is far too often inaccessible, as licensed child care seats exist for less than half of NYC children under the age of five. It is also unaffordable, with more than 80% of New Yorkers unable to afford care for even one child. Despite the high fees that families are paying, child care providers are struggling to raise enough revenue to survive; there are 1,400 fewer child care providers in the city now than in 2015. 

This is not just a problem for child care workers or families. Failing to address this crisis will have lasting ramifications for our city: in 2022 alone, the city is estimated to have lost $23 billion dollars in economic activity as a result of parents leaving the workforce or downshifting careers to meet child care needs. This is leading to an exodus of young families, and especially young Black families, who can longer afford to raise their children here. Losing families hurts our city’s future – there are economic impacts, like a decline in public school enrollment and funding and a decreased tax base – but also more fundamental challenges, as New York becomes a city for the wealthy and no longer one for the middle and working class.

Read the 5BORO Institute’s report, Investing In Families and Our Future, for steps the city can and must take today to lay the foundation for a future with universal child care and immediately benefit families and child care providers.

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