Child Care Commission

  1. 2017
  2. 2016

Amended Copy as of January 21, 2016

Introduction Resolution Number 1023-2016                                               Laid on Table January 4, 2016

Introduced by Legislators Martinez and Hahn

Resolution No. -2016, Establishing the Suffolk County Child Care Commission

Whereas, the Welfare to Work Commission (“WtW”) issued a report in June 2014 which found that there are an insufficient number of affordable child care slots available to children under the age of five in Suffolk County; and

Whereas, the Welfare to Work Commission’s June 2014 report, “Who’s Minding the Kids?” demonstrated  that “numerous respected and validated research studies have documented, over time, that children who receive quality preschool experiences are less likely to become juvenile delinquents, more likely to graduate from high school, have jobs, families and homes in adulthood”; and

Whereas, the WtW Commission’s report demonstrated there are only enough properly authorized child care slots for 46% of Long Island children under the age of five whose parents are working and that 76% of Long Island families cannot afford to place their children in a licensed child care center in part because Suffolk is second only to New York City with the highest cost-of-living expenses in New York State; this results in unfilled child care slots in licensed child care facilities within Suffolk County; and

Whereas, an October 2014 Long Island Association (LIA) report documents that child care on Long Island is an $804 million industry (up $192 million since the LIA’s 2004 report) that employs nearly 10,000 people and that Long Island’s working parents who rely on child care collectively earn $10.6 billion annually; and

Whereas, as the WtW Commission and LIA reports document, in addition to creating jobs and generating economic activity, child care makes it possible for thousands of parents to work, which draws federal and state dollars to the local economy and can generate for each dollar invested in child care, from $7 to $19 dollars to the County of Suffolk; and

Whereas, a formula used by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services has resulted in chronic underfunding of Suffolk County’s child care grant; and

Whereas, the income eligibility for the State CCBG child care subsidy for working poor families in Suffolk is 165% of the Federal Poverty Level which is less than the income eligibility of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($47,870 for a family of four in 2014) recommended by the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the WtW Commission’s report; and

Whereas, the WtW Commission’s study demonstrated that there are multiple competing and disconnected program related systems which prevent the creation of a coordinated child care system in Suffolk County; and

Whereas, the Commission’s report called for Suffolk County to create a new Child Care Commission to recommend policies and procedures for developing a coordinated, quality child care data based delivery system within the County; now, therefore be it

1st Resolved, that an independent Suffolk County Child-Care Commission (“Commission”) is hereby established to evaluate and make recommendations on federal, state and County policies and procedures to coordinate, connect and improve the child care system in Suffolk County; and be it further

2nd Resolved, that the Commission shall consist of the following 13 members and may be expanded upon based on the needs of the Commission under the direction of its Chairperson:

  1. The Chairperson of the Education and Human Services Committee of the County Legislature, or his or her designee who will serve as Chair;
  2. A representative of the County Department of Social Services, Division of Child-Care, to be selected by the Commissioner of the Department;
  3. A representative of the Long Island regional office of the New York State Office of Child and Family Services;
  4. A representative of the Welfare to Work Commission of the County Legislature;
  5. A representative of the Child-Care Council of Suffolk;
  6. A representative of Long Island Head Start;
  7. A representative of Suffolk County BOCES;
  8. A representative of the Suffolk County Community College Early Childhood Education Department;
  9. A representative of Family Support Long Island/Molloy College;
  10. A person knowledgeable with the operation of a child care center, to be appointed by the County Legislature;
  11. A person familiar with the operation of group and family child-care facilities, to be appointed by the County Legislature;
  12. A representative of the business community, to be appointed by the County Legislature; and
  13. A  parent with a child served by a child care facility, to be selected by the Chair of the Education and Human Services Committee; and be it further

3rd Resolved, that the Commission shall hold its first meeting no later than 30 days after the oaths of office of all members have been filed for the purposes of organization and the election of a Vice-Chairperson and Secretary; and be it further

4th Resolved, that the members of the Commission shall serve without compensation and shall serve at the pleasure of their respective appointing authorities; and be it further

5th Resolved, that the Commission shall hold regular meetings, keep a record of all its proceedings, and determine the rules of its own proceedings, with special meetings to be called by the Chairperson upon his or her own initiative or upon receipt of a written request signed by at least four (4) members of the Commission. Written notice of the time and place of such special meetings shall be provided by the Secretary to each member of the Commission at least four (4) days before the date of the meeting; and be it further

6th Resolved, that seven (7) members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum to transact the business of the Commission at both regular and special meetings; and be it further

7th Resolved, that clerical services involving the month to month operation of the Commission, as well as supplies and postage, as necessary, will be supplied by the Clerk’s Office of the Suffolk County Legislature; and be it further

8th Resolved, that the Chairperson may delegate to any member of the Commission the power and authority to conduct such hearings and meetings; and be it further

9th Resolved, that the Commission shall cooperate with the legislative committees of the County Legislature and make available for each committee’s use, upon request, any records and other data it may accumulate or obtain; and be it further

10th Resolved, that the Commission is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to hold at least one public hearing throughout the County of Suffolk to assemble the data and information necessary to complete the evaluation, study and report required, with all reasonable efforts to be made to ascertain the views, wishes and opinions of the residents of Suffolk County; and be it further

11th Resolved, that the Commission shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations for consideration, review and appropriate action, if necessary, to the County Legislature and the County Executive within one (1) year of the effective date of this resolution, at which time the Commission shall be re-evaluated; and be it further

12th Resolved, that this Legislature, being the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) lead agency, hereby finds and determines that this resolution constitutes a Type II action pursuant to Section 617.5(c)(20), (21) and  (27) of Title 6 of the New York Code of Rules