Several of the Institute’s initiatives are highlighted in New York State’s new Child Care Availability Task Force report.

Several of the Institute’s initiatives are highlighted in New York State’s new Child Care Availability Task Force report, Making Child Care More Affordable, Accessible and Equitable for New Yorkers, which was released in April 2024. 

The report focuses on the task force’s key findings and recommendations regarding child care workforce stabilization, workforce development and resources, child care affordability and availability, incentivizing corporate support for employees’ child care needs, business support for child care providers and systems, and universal child care.

The Institute’s work is particularly evident in the workforce development and resources section of the task force’s report. Among the task force’s recommendations:

Enroll in the Aspire Registry

The task force recommends encouraging educators in all licensed programs and settings to enroll in the Aspire Registry, New York’s workforce registry for early childhood and school-age professionals. The Aspire Registry currently serves more than 36,000 individuals and 4,700 organizations in New York State, including home-based child care providers, trainers, center-based programs, school-based programs, afterschool programs, and training organizations. The task force noted that the Aspire Registry “reduces the administrative burden on programs and educators” by collecting and verifying data on educators’ education, employment and professional development. 

Increase funding for scholarships for the early childhood workforce

The task force points to the Institute’s Early Childhood Career Development Center and QUALITYstarsNY as initiatives that provide higher education scholarships to early childhood professionals. “CUNY PDI’s current workforce scholarship recipients are primarily women of color (67%) and over the age of 30 (66%), a population that has not traditionally had sufficient access to higher education opportunities,” the task force writes. “These scholarship supports are addressing historic inequities that women and people of color in the childhood and early childhood education sector have experienced,” the task force writes. 

Expand funding for career and academic advising for the early childhood workforce

The task force notes that one-on-one career and academic advising services like those provided by the Career Development Center have helped many early childhood professionals achieve their goals: “When provided access through tailored and specific academic advising and with scholarship supports, students earning degrees in early childhood education have demonstrated remarkable success. According to the CUNY Professional Development Institute (PDI), which operates career advising programming, the vast majority earn grades of B+ or higher and have high semester-to-semester persistence rates.”

The task force also updated several of its existing recommendations from its 2021 report, noting that the state invested $35 million in QUALITYstarsNY in light of the task force’s recognition that “any improvements in the child care system must include investments in programs and the early childhood workforce to drive high-quality care in order to best serve children and families.”