Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) is a nonprofit working to reduce problems families face when accessing Early Education and Childcare (ECE) programs. We commit to including families and community members in creating solutions to increase access to these programs in NYC.
Last summer, CCC met with more than 160 parents to learn more about families’ issues with ECE programs. We learned that parents have great difficulty finding and signing up for these programs. Parents also have ideas about how to improve this system to better support NYC families. These conversations helped shape our parent survey. The survey elevates parents’ suggestions about the barriers and the solutions to accessing care.
Over 1,100 NYC parents and caregivers completed this survey. As one of them, you helped us learn more about these issues and how to improve them. We would like to thank you by sharing with you the results of this survey below.
We asked parents what is most important to them when choosing child care. 81% of parents said the safety of their child is most important. Parents also often chose the cost of care (41%), the convenience of location (30%), and good communication with a child care provider (27%) as most important.
75% of parents said they had to make changes to afford the cost of child care. Most parents said they reduce household expenses to be able to afford care. A small number of parents said they change their child care arrangement, such as reducing the number of hours their child is in care. Families reporting higher incomes were more likely to say they borrow money from family or friends to pay for child care compared to families reporting lower incomes who said this less often. .
Unfortunately, many parents we surveyed said they did not hear about programs that may help them afford care. Even parents who said they were already receiving benefits like Food Stamps and may be eligible for childcare support did not know of some public childcare programs.
Many parents we surveyed said they need regular child care during evenings, overnight, and on weekends. These parents most likely need to find coverage on their own since these are not key hours covered in public child care options.
We appreciate you and all the parents who helped us learn about what barriers get in the way of finding care and ways to reduce them. We will use the information you provided to advocate for solutions that will improve childcare for families across NYC.
By Cristina Onea. Photo by cottonbro studio via Pexels.com.