Immediate Release Contact: David Chauvin
June 14, 2005 (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead Holds Educational Forum on Child Care
Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Nassau County Child Care Commission Raise Awareness on Potential Crisis in the Child Care Industry
Manhasset, NY– Last Friday, Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the North Hempstead Town Board, in conjunction with the Nassau County Child Care Commission, hosted an informational breakfast and presentation on the challenges facing the child care industry on Long Island and in North Hempstead. The meeting was seen as a call to action by the child care community which is comprised of Head Start, nursery schools, preschool programs, school-age child care, nanny services, and non-profit child care centers.
“This meeting is meant to begin a dialogue between government, business, labor and the child care community in order to address the growing challenges facing this industry,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “Child care is a rapidly growing industry that contributes directly to growth in jobs and income in our community and has a tremendous economic impact on Long Island.”
Among the issues raised during the forum were: the need for raising awareness of regulated child care facilities; adequate compensation for child care professionals; the cost of maintaining New York State regulations; and increasing the income eligibility to include more families. Assemblyman William Scarborough, who chairs the Assembly’s Committee on Children and Families, as well as Assemblyman Charles Lavine attended the meeting and shared insight on New York State’s perspective on the issues facing child care.
Ginger Lieberman, Executive Director, Nassau County Child Care Commission, commented that, “Local government, as well as the local business community coming together with child care can create tremendous opportunities that are beneficial for both parents and the workplace. This forum hosted by Supervisor Kaiman and the Child Care Commission is an example on how we can work together to combat growing issues facing child care.”
There are a total of 778 registered child care facilities in Nassau County, 91 of which operate in North Hempstead. Regulated child care programs represent over $600 million industry on Long Island, consisting of over 2,600 small business owners who employ over 17,000 workers. Multiple studies have shown that children who receive quality early education arrive at school ready to learn and with better developed social skills.
“Because of Town of North Hempstead’s enthusiasm we have started a movement,” said Jill Rooney, Director of Harbor Child Care. “The child care industry need systemic change in order to make sure that the children of Nassau County are in a safe, healthy educationally rich environment.
“Child care supports not only working parents but employers as well,” added Councilman Wayne Wink. “Businesses, governments and child care programs must work together to take advantage of the potential of this vitally important industry.”
We all have a responsibility to examine the child care industry with an eye towards developing new ways to reach parents, providers and the community to assist in offering the best care possible to optimize children’s development,” said Jan Barbieri, Executive Director of the Child Care Council of Nassau, Inc.