THE BRONX — Affordable, high-quality child care is out of reach to many working parents in New York City, but a new proposal may change that.
"You make spreadsheets, right? You look at your neighborhood. You look at what everyone is charging," Bronx resident Cynthia Carrion said.
When her daughters were little, she did the math. It cost $500 a week for day care. It made life hard. She and her husband ended up asking a common question. "Can we stay in the city? Can we afford this?"
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer's new proposal "NYC Under 3" would create a payroll tax on the city's largest corporations. The money raised would then create low cost city backed day care spots.
"We want to ramp up from 20,000 to 84,000. This would be the start and a game-changer for working families, working mothers," Stringer said.
The comptroller's office estimated it costs more than $21,000 a year for just one child in day care. Many moms end up staying home because it doesn't pay to work.
This proposal would slash child care costs for up to 70 thousand working families, but in order to make that happen, the state legislature needs to get on board. A bill was just introduced.
"It is increasingly difficult for mothers and fathers even to enter the workforce. And the lack of childcare should not be an impediment," State Senator Jessica Ramos said.Stringer credited the mayor for leading the way with Pre-K for all and 3-K programs.
But he said it's time to take it a step further. Stringer's office said this program would allow 20,000 to be able to enter the workforce.
While the program would be largely funded by the payroll tax, the city would need to get on board. The mayor's office did not respond to PIX11's request for comment.