Friday, September 18, 2015

Religious leaders call for increased child care investment

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 1:19 PM

Child day care subsidies are widely viewed as one of the most effective ways to help struggling parents work and build better lives for their families. And a group of Rochester-area faith leaders is calling on the next Monroe County executive to restore cuts to and boost the county's investment in child care programs.

The Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society held a press conference this morning to make a moral case for the investment. Group members didn't explicitly call for more child care funding, though speakers repeatedly said that the county needs to invest in the programs, and in a press release they say that it would cost an estimated $40 million to double the number of children receiving day care subsidies. In the same release, they also said that the county needs to do more to pay child care providers promptly.

The Rev. Dr. Jill Bradway, pastor of West Henrietta Baptist Church, said that the faith leaders believe that the county's youngest children should have opportunity to fulfill their potential — a chance they may not have if their parents don't have access to quality day care.

"Our children should have what they need to succeed," Bradway said.

The Rev. Dr. William Wilkinson, pastor at Trinity Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, said that RocACTS had reached out to all three county executive candidates to discuss child care funding. Democratic candidate Sandy Frankel and Green Party candidate Rajesh Barnabas talked with group members and are aware of the issues, Wilkinson said. The group hasn't been able to make direct contact with Dinolfo, he said.

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