Families Gather In Boston Common To Call For Affordable Childcare

Photo: Suzanne Sausville/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Hundreds of parents, children, educators, childcare providers, and advocates gathered in the Boston Common Saturday calling on the state to make childcare more affordable.

The rally happened just weeks after the state recommended numerous reforms to the Commonwealth's early education and child care system, including a proposed $1.5 billion in additional funding. Those in attendance called on state lawmakers to act on the Common Start bill, before the end of the current legislative session in July.

The Common Start legislation is a plan that would create a system of affordable childcare and early education for all Massachusetts families and would cover both from when the child is born until they are five years old.

Latoya Gayle told WBZ's Suzanne Sausville that the legislation would help make childcare access more equitable for all.

"When we talk about gaps in K through 12, where do you think they start? They don't start in kindergarten they start before they get to Kindergarten," she said. "Unless our government recognizes how important those early years are, we will continue to have gaps and we will continue to have inequities."

Gayle is a mother of four and has to pay for both college tuition and childcare, which ends up costing her the same. She said single parents are the hardest hit by high childcare prices.

"I can do it because I have a husband and we're a two-income household," she said. "If not I literally could not afford it because that's where all my salary goes to."

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State Senator and Democratic candidate for Governor Sonia Chang-Díaz called on her fellow lawmakers to make reforms to the childcare system.

"Right now the state is honestly freeriding on the backs of parents," she said.

WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports.

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