MAYOR TED R. GREEN ATTENDS ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION HELD BY SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ ABOUT THE CRISIS SURROUNDING CHILDCARE COSTS
East Orange, NJ, March 29, 2022: Mayor Ted R. Green joined a round table discussion held yesterday by Senator Bob Menendez that centered around the crisis surrounding high childcare costs and the gaps in our nation’s childcare infrastructure.
Mayor Green showed his support of Senator Menendez’s reconciliation bill that will ensure that any family making under $213,000 would pay no more than 7 percent of their income on childcare, which is in line with President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act.
“Even before the pandemic, childcare has been an issue for so many parents, and no parent should have to choose between sending their child to daycare and providing basic household needs for their family,” said Mayor Green. “As I am currently supplying financial support for my niece to send her daughter to daycare, I know first-hand the impact of these exorbitant costs. I took on the responsibility because I did not want my niece to lose her job, and as a result, her ability to provide for her family.”
“As everyone knows, the word that could most accurately describe the state of childcare in America today is the word ‘crisis.’ Between soaring costs, lack of availability, staff shortages and more, an industry that was barely limping along before is now collapsing before our eyes,” said Sen. Menendez. “We can start to fix this collapsing system by making critical investments in our nation’s childcare infrastructure. We can cap costs once-and-for-all so that the only decision a parent has to make is whether to send their kids to the high-quality provider down the street or the one up the road.”
The discussion, held at Zadie’s Early Childhood Center in East Orange, NJ, included Assemblywoman Brittney Timberlake, Winifred Smith-Jenkins, MHA, IMH-E®, Senior Director of Zadie’s, Cynthia Rice, Esq., Senior Policy Analyst with Advocate for Children of New Jersey, and East Orange parents Ms. Grove, Ms. Allen and Ms. Ross.
“The issue of paying for childcare is an intergenerational issue that effects everyone,” said Assemblywoman Timberlake. “Childcare centers nationwide are facing the challenge to retain and keep the workforce because of the high cost of inflation. As these centers struggle, we run the risk of passing the cost on to parents who are already burdened. As a result, women like myself are having to choose between continuing to grow their family and continuing to grow their career. When childcare costs are multiplied by the number of children in the home, it becomes a decision for one parent to drop out of the workforce and often, the woman is decided. This begets an issue of women’s rights and women’s progression.”
Through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Mayor Green has been unwavering in his commitment to work with administration and other agencies to bring relief to parents on a local level. “I commend Senator Menendez for bringing the childcare crisis to the forefront and I support his advocacy of our President’s Build Back Better Act through his reconciliation bill,” said Mayor Green. “In order to fix this collapsing system, childcare and early childhood education must be treated and funded as a public good.”