New York state lawmakers increased funding for child care in last month’s state budget, but local politicians in New York City criticized Albany for ignoring what they see as a crucial population: undocumented immigrants.
New York City parents who are scraping by on a tight budget may have to choose between caring for their children at home or going to work since private childcare might be prohibitively expensive.
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On May 31, Comptroller Brad Lander joined Council Members Tiffany Cabán and Shahana Hanif, as well as members of Make the Road NY and NICE, to urge the city to invest $10 million to fund childcare for undocumented families. According to Cabán, this is very doable and will only set the city back about 0.01% of its annual budget.
Cabán argued that the city couldn’t function without the undocumented people who live there. If New York is to continue to thrive on the backs of its undocumented population, it has a moral and financial responsibility to ensure that these families have access to the same publicly supported childcare that every other family in the state of New York enjoys.
To ensure the health, connection, and security of future generations, it is essential that we invest in the well-being of today’s children and their families.
No child should be left behind, advocates say, but without early childhood services, children of undocumented immigrants will be at a disadvantage.
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Allocating these monies would allow children who are currently ineligible because of their immigration status to participate in city-run early childhood education and care voucher programs, and it would also ensure that DOE-contracted programs accept city-funded vouchers.
Because of the immense benefits to children, families, and the city as a whole, our city provides free public schooling to all children of school age, regardless of their immigration status. These advantages shouldn’t start with a child’s first day of school, but rather at birth.
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Our municipality ought to involve our youngest students and guarantee that working families, regardless of immigration status, have access to high-quality care.
Everyone will prosper when we create a city where no one is denied access to care and where employees can provide for their families without fear, said Comptroller Lander.