Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Banking woes send consumers looking for safer alternatives, some Indiana communities resist a dollar chain store "invasion," and a permit to build an oil pipeline tunnel under the Great Lakes is postponed.


Republicans say it is premature to consider gun legislation after the Nashville shooting, federal officials are unsure it was a hate crime, and regulators say Silicon Valley Bank was aware of its financial risks.


Small towns respond creatively to their sometimes hidden housing and homelessness crisis, a new national weather prediction system expected next year will help close the gap between urban and rural forecasting as severe weather events increase, and more rural communities can apply for a CIRD design project to boost economic development.

Efforts Underway to Make More Childcare Available to New Yorkers


Monday, February 14, 2022   

More than 60% of New York State is considered to be a "child-care desert." But some state initiatives could make care available to more families as they continue to recover from the pandemic.

Some $70 million in grant funding is being made available to new child-care programs in New York locations that don't have a sufficient number of open program spaces.

Democratic Assemblymember Anna Kelles, who represents Tompkins and southwest Cortland counties, spoke to what feeds into limited program slots.

"The incomes for child-care providers, the child-care workers, is so low that child-care facilities are having a hard time building back up to capacity as well," said Kelles. "And that has been a perennial issue."

According to the governor's office, applications to apply for the grant funding will open up in mid-April. Kelles is also co-sponsoring a bill that would extend child-care assistance for some New Yorkers even if they no longer meet the income cutoff.

Parts of every region of New York are designated child-care deserts. But Kelles said another issue within the sector is the out-of-pocket cost to families, which she says her bill would address.

"Child care can be anywhere from 25% to 30% of a person's income," said Kelles. "That's very hard for people to surmount without support if you're technically low income, if not impossible."

The child-care subsidy legislation is currently in the state Senate Children And Families Committee.

Nicole Mason - president and CEO of the Institute for Women's Policy Research - noted that greater access to child care would also allow more women to participate in the workforce, and fill other gaps as well.

"The pandemic revealed that we still have a long way to go," said Mason, "in terms of making sure that working women and families have the support they need."

She said measures like the Build Back Better Act would help increase families' short- and long-term economic stability, in part by extending the Child Tax Credit.

The U.S. Senate has yet to vote on the federal plan.

Disclosure: Institute For Women's Policy Research contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Livable Wages/Working Families, Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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The Enbridge Line 5 pipeline carries oil and gas products from Canada to Michigan, where it is distributed across the Midwest. (Dragon Claws/Adobe Stock)


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