New statistics illustrate the devastating impact of Rob Astorino’s child care cuts on working families in Westchester. Because of the higher out-of-pocket expenses imposed by Astorino, hundreds of working parents have been unable to access essential child care services.
Astorino has repeatedly claimed that his actions have increased the number of child care “slots.” As recently as this past Friday, Astorino said that his policy of making working families pay more for child care would “allow many more single mothers to benefit.” In reality, the exact opposite is true: there are 20% fewer families in the program, and those that remain are paying thousands of dollars more. Astorino has yet to comment on the new statistics – which were compiled and reluctantly released by his own administration.
“It is apparent that Rob Astorino doesn’t understand the challenges facing working parents,” said Bramson. “Bragging that there are more ‘slots’ available completely misses the point — those slots are worthless if families can’t afford them.”
“We all pay a high price when working parents are denied child care,” continued Bramson. “Parents who want to be independent are instead forced on to the welfare rolls, and children who need early enrichment arrive in Kindergarten unprepared to learn. Cutting child care isn’t a hard choice, it’s a dumb choice, and it’s costing working families and all of us dearly.”
“It is past time for the County Executive to stop hiding behind specious and misleading arguments about empty slots and instead face honestly the harsh reality of his actions,” concluded Bramson.
On Friday, Astorino’s campaign claimed his cuts to child care are “a good and sensible policy that allows many more single mothers to benefit.” [Journal News, “Bramson vows to restore child care cuts made by Astorino,” 9/13/2013,LINK]
In an op-ed published on Sunday, the President and Executive Director of the Child Care Council of Westchester said that “Our fears appear to be coming true — participation in Westchester County’s child care subsidy program is dropping for low-income children.” In the op-ed, they highlight enrollment data compiled by the Astorino administration that shows that the number of children enrolled in child care programs has decline by more than 20% year-over-year since Astorino’s massive cuts to the program were put in place. [Journal News, “Cuts in aid lower child care rolls,” 9/15/2013, LINK]