NEW YORK – A new poll reveals that likely voters rank strengthening education and child care for all New Yorkers as among the top priorities for the state to address, with 85% saying they support the state investing more public funds to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care. The poll results — which point to the urgency of increasing early childhood investment and the intense voter support for the state to act — were released today by Raising NY, a new coalition of parent, early childhood, education, civil rights, business, and health organizations.
Raising NY is dedicated to increasing the number of young children who are on track for school readiness, which can strengthen New York’s schools, improve children’s futures, and reduce juvenile incarceration rates. New York has more than 700,000 children under the age of three, a period of life when 80% of a child’s brain development occurs. But statewide, hundreds of thousands of families are prevented from accessing the high-quality programs, services, and opportunities they need to raise healthy and thriving children.
Raising NY is focused on advancing policies that support families of infants and toddlers during these first critical years of life. The coalition’s priorities are:
- Improving access to health and developmental care. Poll results show that 73% of likely voters feel that New York should be doing more to ensure access to specific programs, especially early interventions such as screening programs and services for children with developmental delays.
- Improving access to high-quality, affordable child care. Poll results show that 60% of likely voters feel the lack of affordable, high-quality child care is a major obstacle holding children back from entering school prepared to learn. A majority of parents with children 5 or younger reported that they have had to leave work early (57%), miss work (58%), or arrive to work late (52%) as a result of child care issues.
- Helping more parents become financially secure. Poll results show that more than 3 in 4 likely voters(78%) indicated that providing more tax credits for child care to parents of infants and toddlers who are low-income and increasing access to adult and higher education programs for parents of infants and toddlers would each be somewhat or very helpful.
- Developing a system that works together for families. Poll results show that 81% of likely voters feel that better coordination between early development, child care, and health care programs would be somewhat helpful and 46% feel it would be very helpful. Parents with young children felt even stronger about the importance of this issue, with 84% reporting that better coordination would be somewhat helpful and 55% very helpful.
More information about Raising NY’s policy agenda, along with additional poll results, can be found at www.RaisingNY.org. Read the poll memo here.