New York is getting ready for big changes to child care regulations. New federal rules say child care centers have to start fingerprinting employees and increase requirements for background checks, training, and annual inspections, among other changes. State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo expects the rules to take effect next year. She says they’re welcome but have a high price tag.
“That’s something we’ve been wanting for a very long time, and we appreciate the federal government stepping in and basically saying, ‘You have to do this,’” she says. “The $90 million impact, however, is what’s a concern to us.”
Lupardo chairs the Assembly Children and Families Committee. The committee met today on how to cover the estimated 90 million dollar statewide cost of implementing the new rules. Lupardo says child care centers can’t afford to foot the bill on their own.
“It’s highly unlikely they would be able to survive if we required them [to implement the changes] without assistance,” she says. “That’s obviously something the state is going to have to absorb.”
Lupardo is quick to add, though, that the money should not come out of the state’s child care subsidy program, which helps low-income families pay for care. She says that program is already strapped and only reaches a quarter of families who need it. Instead, the Committee will look for funding in this year’s state budget.