BOSTON (CBS) — The rising costs of childcare is forcing many young families to rely on relatives as they head back into the office. Governor Charlie Baker is hoping to ease that burden and make early education more accessible.
“By addressing these priorities we can make sure that Massachusetts builds on its strengths and powers our economy and communities forward as we emerge from this pandemic,” Baker said.READ MORE: Woman Killed In Shooting Near Roslindale Pharmacy
On Tuesday, the Governor released the findings of the “Future of Works Report,” which calls for greater flexibility for childcare as more people work under a hybrid model.
The report says: “As of 2020, the average cost of childcare for a Massachusetts family with two children ages four or below was about 39% of the average household income.”
The state is using 640 million dollars in federal funding to help address the problem.READ MORE: Are Masks Back In Massachusetts? Officials Weigh A Mandate Following CDC Guidance
“As employers and workers leverage technology to provide greater flexibility for work habits childcare needs will change as well,” said Lt. Governor Karen Polito. “Our administration is working with the early education community to make improvements to the childcare system to respond to these trends.”
“We know programs now are looking for early educators they cannot open classrooms because they can’t find educators,” said Amy O’Leary.
Amy O’Leary is with Strategies for Children, an organization that advocates for childcare and early education. She said the administration’s funding is a good start but believes a long-term solution will require overhauling the business model of childcare.
“So thinking about more public investment, more flexible funding so that programs don’t have to be fully enrolled for ten hours a day to even have a chance of making it,” said O’Leary.MORE NEWS: Car Crashes Into Richardson's Ice Cream Shop In Middleton
She is also concerned about the availability of childcare, she urges people to check with their providers ahead of the fall.