Apr 09, 2022 Press Release

Robin Hood Applauds State Leaders for Historic Investment Expanding Child Care Vouchers

** Robin Hood Policy Experts Available for Interviews on Child Care Expansion**

Robin Hood Partnered with Lawmakers, Child Care Providers, Advocates, and Business Leaders to Advocate for Expanded Child Care Eligibility

Final Deal will Allow Families At or Below 300% Federal Poverty Level Qualify for Vouchers, Increase Reimbursement Rate from 69% to 80%

Albany, NY — Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting philanthropic organization, applauded Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Governor Kathy Hochul for including a historic expansion of child care vouchers in the state budget.

“New Yorkers were clear they needed child care now, and led by the legislature, our leaders in Albany listened. The Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl E. Heastie, and Governor Kathy Hochul have achieved a budget deal that makes a historic down payment on the path to universal  child care. Their leadership positions New York State as a  national leader in expanding access to affordable child care and sets the stage for New York City to fill child care deserts for tens of thousands of families. This will set our children up for long-term success, dramatically reduce poverty, and help more parents get back to work post-pandemic,” Jason Cone, Robin Hood’s Chief Public Policy Officer, said. “To ensure this investment has the full impact the state needs, the legislature must address the ongoing and onerous requirements families must meet to secure a child care voucher. It is also indefensible to continue excluding undocumented children from this program. All children deserve access to high quality, affordable child care and we will fight alongside the legislature to ensure our undocumented neighbors are able to access child care vouchers before this session ends. These families pay hundreds of millions of dollars into state coffers every year, and the state has the financial resources to fill the funding gap created by restrictions on federal block grants.”

This budget season, Robin Hood partnered with legislative leaders including State Senators Jessica Ramos and Jabari Brisport and Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and Assemblywoman Sarah Clark, child care providers, advocates, and business leaders to push for this child care expansion. Robin Hood’s work included:

  • Releasing an economic analysis in partnership with the Columbia Center on Poverty and Social Policy, which showed how expanding child care vouchers would fight poverty;
  • Conducting a statewide poll with HarrisX that showed overwhelming support for the child care expansion from voters of all political stripes across the state, including in battleground regions;
  • Releasing a poll of business decision makers in New York State by HarrisX, which found more than three-out-of-four business leaders support the expansion, and;
  • Publishing a study in partnership with the Columbia Center on Poverty and Social Policy that found 25% of New York City families reported they had to turn down a job, change their job, or take a leave of absence because of child care issues during the pandemic. More than 1 in 5 people did not look for work because of child care needs.

Robin Hood will continue to work with our partners, including advocates, child care providers, business leaders, and the legislature to further improve the child care voucher program, including allowing undocumented immigrants to receive vouchers, eliminating onerous work requirements, and finding a long-term solution to raise the poverty wages that child care workers earn.

Robin Hood policy experts are available to discuss this historic win for families. Contact Jack Sterne at jsterne@skdknick.com or 203-560-1767 for interviews.