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Our Voice: Advocacy

Early Care & Learning Council Policy Vision

The Early Care & Learning Council and our statewide network of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) are leaders in promoting equitable access to high quality early care and learning that benefits and supports New York State's children and families.

We support policies, regulations, legislation and investments that:

  • Promote equitable access to affordable quality child care for all families who need it;
  • Respect and reflect the many strengths, languages, cultures and regions of New York State;
  • Promote a coherent, integrated child care system, that is responsive to the diverse needs of parents, including those who work nontraditional hours;
  • Facilitate collaboration between child care, PreK, Head Start and other programs that serve young children and their families;
  • Ensure high-quality by supporting the child care workforce and building a strong, effective and streamlined professional development infrastructure
  • Fund financial assistance programs, including child care subsidies and tax credits;
  • Support a vibrant, dynamic and adequately funded CCR&R system.

These policies provide a framework for enhancing young children's learning and development, supporting parents' participation in the workforce and strengthening economic development and success in all of New York State's communities . We believe the time has come for policymakers to prioritize access to high quality child care for all children.

ECLC coordinates statewide and federal advocacy efforts

Child Care Resource and Referral agencies have the capacity to bring child care information and support to the work place and to assist directly with employers.

Parents can utilize our comprehensive services so they quickly obtain reliable child care that meets their needs and the requirements of their employers. We know where regulated child care exists and where additional capacity has to be developed to support emerging or growing businesses or respond to changes in employer needs. Child care is an infrastructure support for children, for families and for communities.  ​ ​

Working Toward a Better System of Quality Care

From the beginning, the work of the Early Care & Learning Council has been focused on public policy and education.  For over 40 years, the Council has worked to secure millions of dollars in funding for quality, affordable child care services in New York State.  In the mid-1990s, the Council launched the Child Care that Works campaign. The campaign later merged with efforts surrounding Pre-K to formally convene as the Winning Beginning NY coalition in 2005. The coalition includes a broad representation of individuals and organizations from child care, education, the medical and academic communities, unions and many others. The Early Care & Learning Council currently serves on the steering committee that governs and leads the coalition.

In 2017, the Empire State Campaign for Child Care (ESCCC) was founded in the wake of threats to cut up to $27M from the New York State child care subsidy program. ESCCC is a powerful grassroots movement with the capacity to educate and motivate our elected leaders to increase New York’s investment in child care so that all New York families can access safe, supportive, quality child care so that parents can work and children thrive.

The Early Care & Learning Council, Winning Beginning NY and the Empire State Campaign for Child Care all have an important presence on the Albany public policy landscape. The Early Care & Learning Council continues to serve as a dedicated partner to both groups continues to inform policy makers, business leaders and the public about the benefits of a high quality, affordable early care and education system to children and families.