You'd think that the most expensive cost for a family was keeping a roof over their head, but nationwide, child care is more. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, New Yorkers are paying some of the highest prices for child care. In some cases, it’s even more per year than a SUNY student does for tuition.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- In the ten years that Karen Schemm has owned Together We Grow Childcare, she's seen the price of what's needed to care for kids rise along with everything else.
"Food has gone up and of course because of the gas these days, the prices, we have to pay a surcharge. Tuition has to go up because, the teachers need to get paid," said Schemm.
It's a cost that gets passed on to parents. According to a report released by Child Care Aware of America, it's not just poor New Yorkers who are finding it difficult to pay for these services. Families at 150 and 200 percent of the poverty level fork a considerable amount of their income over to child care.
Though the price of child care is difficult for many families to afford, providers say that it's a service that is valuable for much more than just babysitting.
Centers like Together We Grow also educate and prepare young children for school. Schemm worries parents cutting corners on child care could affect children down the line.
"These are the most important developmental years," said Schemm.
Making sure even the working families can provide for their children is a charge Onondaga County took on. In the last budget, the County Executive requested a $4 million increase for child care.
"They are working, but they are eligible for a childcare subsidy because their family's wages fall within, they will earn under 200 percent of the federal poverty limit," said Deputy County Executive for Human Services Ann Rooney.
The program allows families to meet their needs while working. The goal, ending a cycle of poverty that could easily be perpetuated by the burden of child care.
For more information about child care and services offered by Onondaga County, visit www.ongov.net.
Together We Grow Childcare is located at 7020 Manlius Center Road, East Syracuse, NY 13057, (315) 656-2399