Parents and Providers Testify on Challenges of Child Care at FY2023 Budget Hearings

Posted on March 29, 2022

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The need for child care was at the forefront of the FY2023 New Jersey Assembly Budget Committee public hearings. Parents described their struggles to find child care for their babies, while child care providers talked about the difficulties of finding staff to meet parent demands. Classrooms remain empty without teachers to lead and educate.

It's time to tell state legislators to make an investment to support the workforce that care for our youngest learners.

Read testimony from parents and providers about the challenges of raising a baby in New Jersey, finding child care, keeping business doors open and the consequences when babies are left behind.

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Jill Cimafonte, Director, Temple Emanu-El of Westfield’s Early Childhood Education Program
Child care provider

"And just last week, a young mother called me begging (yes truly begging) me to accept her baby into our program because she needed to return to work. The center where she had planned to send her baby kept pushing back her start date and ultimately, she was turned away because they were unable to find teachers to staff the room. My heart broke for this woman, but I did not have anything to offer her."

Read her full testimony
Laura Palescandolo_PLCparent
Laura Palescandolo, ACNJ Parent Leadership Council
Mother of a six- and two-year-old

"Due to maternity leave that was both limited in time and low in financial benefits, I returned to work after just six weeks, which was not nearly enough time to be home with my son. As soon as I did, my milk supply took a hit -- and I struggled to pump enough milk to nourish my son. Breastfeeding challenges were compounded by another huge stressor– modifying my work schedule to catch an earlier train to be able to pick up my son from aftercare by 6:00 PM, at which time late charges apply, on top of the over $15,000 already spent on annual tuition."

Read her full testimony
Rose-Anne Uwague, ACNJ Parent Leadership Council
Mother of a five- and seven-year-old

"I grappled if whether the weight of child care and the health of our children should rest solely on the caregivers. I'm happy to help in any way I can. The question is if the government should be called upon to level the playing field and provide access to basic needs, and I believe you should. So I'm calling on my legislators to reimagine child care and health care and the quality of life for working families by funding the following: High-quality, free or low-cost child care for all children regardless of parental employment status."

Habibah Johnson , ACNJ Parent Leadership Council
Mother of a four, six, nine, and 11-year old

Like many working families in New Jersey we paid a lot of out of pocket childcare fees.
Current statistics report that in New Jersey a month of infant care at a child care center costs families an average of $1,082. While childcare subsidies are helpful, it is time to make childcare free for all, to give every parent the opportunity to receive the necessary care for their child to thrive and so they can work. Going through what my family went through for so many years, I want to make sure no parent will ever feel the stresses of having to pay for childcare. We need the strongest investments in our caring economy possible and we need it now. "

Read her full testimony

Read ACNJ's Testimony and recommendations by Cynthia Rice, ACNJ Senior Policy Analyst.