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Union backs childcare pilot program for city employees

DC 37 leaders express their support at City Hall for childcare bill.

Public Advocate Letitia James has introduced legislation in the City Council that would establish a pilot program to provide on-site, subsidized childcare for city employees.

“Far too many working families are struggling to find childcare that is safe, reliable, convenient and doesn’t empty their wallets,” said James.

Childcare conflicts result in unplanned absences from work, which cost employees and employers alike billions of dollars.

The legislation is co-sponsored by City Council members Ben Kallos, Stephen Levin, and I. Daneek Miller.

“I’m proud to join Public Advocate James as a co-sponsor of this bill. We will strive to summon the will that has always been lacking in the past efforts to carry the endeavor of municipal childcare forward,” said Miller.

District Council 37 is also a supporter of the bill. “Affordable childcare for the city’s workforce is long overdue,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Our union stands behind this initiative.”

In New York City the average annual cost of childcare is over $16,000. Mothers are more likely to leave employment and less likely to start new jobs when childcare costs are high.

According to a study from Child Care Aware of America, nearly half of working parents miss an average of four days of work at least once every six months because of childcare issues, costing U.S. businesses about $4.4 billion yearly in lost productivity and work families $8.3 billion in lost wages.

Those lost wages impact woman the most. They are often penalized for taking time off to care for their children and are often underpaid when returning to the workforce.