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State budget fails to deliver on promises for children, advocates say

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  • Staff Report 

The Children’s Agenda expressed disappointment with the New York State budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year, noting that despite high expectations set by the Governor, transformative changes for child welfare were largely absent. The budget, which did include improvements in Early Intervention and continuous Medicaid coverage for children up to age six, mostly featured one-time investments that The Children’s Agenda believes are insufficient to address ongoing needs.

In terms of child care, the budget allocated $1.8 billion towards assistance but did not fund a permanent state child care fund essential for improving workforce compensation and program sustainability. As a result, the sector remains underfunded, contributing to the state’s child care deserts. This lack of permanent investment undermines potential long-term improvements in child care availability and quality.

Additionally, the proposed Working Families Tax Credit, which could have benefitted 2.3 million families, was overlooked in favor of a lesser, one-time supplement to the Empire State Child Credit. The Children’s Agenda highlighted that this decision, along with minimal permanent tax relief, fails to utilize available opportunities to fundamentally improve the financial stability of families across New York, affecting children’s long-term health and educational outcomes.