The Business Council supports S.4522 (Brisport), which would amend the social services law, in relation to removing unnecessary barriers to child care subsidies for eligible children and families. Furthermore, the proposed bill will ensure that public welfare officials will not limit authorized child services based on proof of immigration status.
New York State’s Child Care Assistant Program (CCAP) includes limitations, one being that children must be United State Citizens and “qualified” immigrants. According to the state’s program qualifications, children with pending asylum cases and others, present lawfully in the U.S., are deemed as unqualified. These qualifications leave 23,000 income-eligible children without access to child care.i
NYC has begun to lead the efforts of supporting children and families, despite their immigration status with rolling out the Promise NYC programs and the dedication of $10M to these efforts. This is a step in the right direction and NYS needs to follow suit and do more, because this is not enough.
A study conducted by the Urban Institute gathered data to show that children under age 3 are especially more likely to only receive parental care, with 60 percent of infants and toddlers with a foreign-born parent in parental care only, compared with 48 percent of their peers with a US-born parent. The study further shows us that recent immigrants are less likely to use unpaid relative care, suggesting more recent arrivals may not have relatives nearby who they can rely on for care.ii
Increasing our labor participation rate, helping families return to the workforce from pandemic effects and goals to improve our economy must include everyone in our state and not leave out populations because of their immigration status. When there are 23,000 children ineligible for children that translates to 23,000 families unable to be a part of the workforce.
This bill will support our economy, workforce, and families. For these reasons, The Business Council supports S. 4522.