The Leadership Alliance, the Urban League and the United Way of Broome County announced $750,000 in congressional funding for childcare access in the county.

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In a press release last week, Leadership Alliance CEO announced the $750,000 of congressional funding secured by Senator Chuck Schumer to help Broome County residents gain access to quality, affordable childcare.

The funds will bolster childcare programs already offered by the Urban League and allow them to expand their offerings to help more Broome County residents find childcare that works for them.

"Access to quality affordable childcare is inherently tied to our community's workforce development efforts, and we thank Senator Schumer for advocating for our community's growth," said Leadership Alliance CEO Stacey Duncan. "Employers have been reporting workforce shortages for years, however, it is impossible to fill those gaps when the infrastructure is not in place to support our workforce."

According to the press release, the funding will allow the Urban League to expand after-school and summer programs in Binghamton to go from serving about 200 children per year to having as many as 250-300 spots year-round. A new childcare location would also open up in Johnson City to serve another 175 children.

Additionally, the funds will be used to develop a new childcare workforce, ensuring that there are enough childcare professionals in the area to support the growing operations in Broome County.

United Way Executive Director Paula Perna stated "The United Way recently completed a white paper on successful models for childcare which outlined a number of barriers to childcare access including not only the limited number of spots, but also high rated of employee turnover and open positions within the industry itself. With 17% of the Broome County workforce projected to age out in the next few years, and retirement already being a leading cause for the shutdown of local childcare providers, we are grateful for funding from Senator Schumer to be able to pursue this sustainable model of childcare that features this innovative training component to provide this critical resource to both our local families and our workforce."

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