Rise Child Care Campaign: Town Hall Update, Survey Results and Calls to Action

Join Rise in writing to NY City Council’s General Welfare Committee!

Rise’s current advocacy and policy priority is child care, as access to child care supports family well-being, and lack of child care can lead to family policing system involvement! There is an urgent need to address the child care crisis and, in doing so, to prioritize communities highly impacted by family policing; however, investment in child care is falling short at the state and city levels

We are organizing for universal child care unaffiliated with ACS, including community-based respite care to support families when last-minute child care needs or emergencies arise. Most recently, Rise conducted an online survey about NYC parents’ child care experiences and needs and held a Virtual Town Hall on Child Care. We are deeply grateful to everyone who partnered with us in this effort, completed the survey and/or participated in the Town Hall! 

We also joined more than 475 organizations in advocating for U.S. Senator Schumer (NY) to prioritize child care in the budget reconciliation process, calling on the Senator to fight to secure a dramatic increase in permanent federal funding for child care. 

Our next steps and calls to action involve organizing a letter and social media campaign and building partnerships to create an NYC-focused child care coalition. We hope you’ll join us! 

Child Care Town Hall

On Wednesday, June 29, Rise held a Virtual Town Hall on Child Care to continue to shift the narrative on child care and raise awareness of child care as a family policing issue. During the Town Hall, the Rise organizing team shared experiences related to child care, provided updates on New York City’s budget, reviewed highlights from the results of our child care survey of NYC parents and caregivers and discussed next steps and calls to action. Stevie Vargas of Citizen Action of New York presented relevant details of the New York State budget, as well as related legislative updates. Everyone in attendance engaged in breakout room discussions about child care challenges and their vision for reimagining child care in New York City. 

>> View the Rise presentation slides from the Virtual Town Hall. 
>> View Stevie Vargas’s presentation slides from the Virtual Town Hall. 

Child Care Survey Results

Rise conducted a survey of parents and caregivers about child care in NYC from April to June 2022 to inform our advocacy. We shared the survey online through our social media platforms, newsletter and outreach to allied organizations. Thank you to all the parents and caregivers who completed the survey, to The Bronx Defenders for providing Rise with space to organize in person and Project Hajra for holding a virtual gathering for parents to complete the survey. 

Our survey asked a total of 32 questions and had 63 respondents. Many respondents were from neighborhoods highly impacted by ACS, including Melrose, Brownsville, Soundview and Hunts Point. We acknowledge that our results reflect a high percentage of respondents impacted by ACS because our network centers impacted parents. 

Key findings include that:

  • 57.4% currently have child care and 42.6% currently need child care for children in their care. 
  • 93.7% said child care is not affordable. 
  • 87.3% said child care is not accessible. 
  • 46.0% could not find child care close to their home or workplace. 
  • 36.5% could not find child care that works with their work hours. 
  • 87.3% thought access to respite care could help to prevent system involvement. 
  • 46.0% said a new agency should be created to administer child care.

Of the 50 respondents who experienced ACS involvement, nearly one in five (17.6%) related their report, investigation or case to lack of affordable, accessible child care. 

This survey helped deepen our understanding of what NYC parents/caregivers want for child care, the barriers to child care and the connection between child care and family policing system involvement. Rise’s survey findings demonstrate that the current system of child care does not meet the needs of parents and caregivers.

Calls to Action

Join our letter campaign: Currently, we are pushing members of New York City Council’s General Welfare Committee to prioritize addressing the urgent need for affordable, accessible child care for all families and to end ACS oversight of child care vouchers. This Committee has jurisdiction over New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) and ACS—two agencies that currently administer child care in NYC—and other institutions and city agencies. We are beginning to meet with members of the General Welfare Committee and are organizing a letter campaign to capture their attention and build momentum. We encourage individuals and organizations to join our letter campaign!

>> Use our toolkit (instructions and letter template) to write to members of the General Welfare Committee by August 5 and to share this information with your networks.

Raise awareness on social media: Use our toolkit by August 5 to share the results of Rise’s survey, bring attention to child care as a family policing issue and call on our elected officials to address it! The toolkit includes social media graphics for Instagram and sample Tweets.

Be part of an NYC-focused child care coalition: Is your organization interested in building our collective power and advocating for affordable, accessible child care in New York City? Rise wants to hear from you! Please write to Rise Policy Coordinator Noshin Hoque at noshin@risemagazine.org to get involved in creating an NYC-focused child care coalition.

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