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Over 80% of New York City families can't afford child care, new report finds

Report shows majority of NYC families can't afford child care
Report shows majority of NYC families can't afford child care 02:25

NEW YORK -- A new report shows the majority of New York City families can't afford child care.

It comes as rents rise, driving some families out of the city, leading to a major impact on the economy.

Bronx resident Kerllyn Deler says her 4-year-old, Luca, used to go to day care, but it cost too much, so she left her job to look after him.

"It is very expensive. Reason why I am a stay-at-home mom," she said. "It was like $475 a week ... That's our rent, basically."

A new report by public policy think tank 5BORO Institute found that a typical day care costs at least $20,000 a year. It also found that more than 80% of families cannot afford that, even for one child.

Tiffany Castillo has four, so she stays home.

"My husband, really, he's working two jobs," she said.

"In 2022, New York City's estimated to have lost $23 billion in economic activity because of parents who left the workforce or had to downshift their careers to take care of children," 5BORO Institute Executive Director Grace Rauh said.

She says the study found Black and Latinx families are the most impacted with some now forced to leave the city.

"They're, like, finding different jobs or working two jobs. It's very common at this point, and that's pretty much what happens. Or they moved to, like, somewhere that's cheaper," one child care worker told CBS New York.

She says she sees parents struggling, but says day care providers can barely make ends meet themselves.

"Families can't afford to pay higher fees, and these child care providers can barely afford to keep their lights on, in many cases," Rauh said.

Due to rising costs, the study found a major decline in the number of available child care providers; only 50% of families are currently able to find licensed facilities.

The report offers recommendations and calls on the city to implement policy changes to benefit both families and day care providers.

"We actually have a large number of families who are eligible for child care subsidies, but they are not accessing them," Rauh said.

Mayor Eric Adams says his administration is working on it.

"We have to do more. One of the greatest inhibitors for women getting into the workforce is dealing with child care, and we have focused on that," Adams said.

Adding, the future of the city depends on high quality care for the next generation.

The study also found only 5% of licensed day care providers operate between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. despite 780,000 New York City parents working those hours.

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