Press Release

In Irondequoit, As NY Police Departments Face Unprecedented Staffing Shortages, Senator Gillibrand Announces Bipartisan Bill To Provide $24 Million In Funding For Child Care For The Police Workforce

May 10, 2024

Today, as police departments across New York face unprecedented workforce shortages, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference at Irondequoit Town Hall to announce the introduction of her new bipartisan bill, the Providing Child Care for Police Officers Act. The bipartisan bill would provide $24 million in federal funding for each of the next 5 fiscal years for child care services to support the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe. Gillibrand was joined by Irondequoit Town Supervisor Andraé Evans, Irondequoit Police Department Chief Scott Peters, and Assemblywoman Sarah Clark.

“Policing is one of the most important and noble professions, and our officers here in Irondequoit deserve to have the flexibility and support needed to do the job well. Offering child care services is a powerful tool to attract and retain new talent, and it’s an essential way to promote public safety while maintaining a stable law enforcement workforce,” said Senator Gillibrand. “My bipartisan bill, the Providing Child Care for Police Officers Actwould help provide these essential services and help police departments to retain and recruit the best talent into our law enforcement agencies.”

I would like to thank Senator Gillibrand for introducing this bipartisan legislation. Policing is a 24-hour profession, and our officers have to work non-traditional hours,” said Irondequoit Police Department Chief Scott Peters “This legislation will hopefully allow officers and their families to not have to worry about childcare while they are on the street, protecting the rest of society. I know there are many of my officers that could benefit from these essential services.

“When you work non-traditional hours, it becomes much more difficult to balance work and raising a family. Every police officer has made a commitment to serve and protect their community, and we have a duty to support them in any way we can,” saidIrondequoit Town Supervisor Andraé Evans. “I am grateful to Senator Gillibrand for prioritizing the oftentimes overlooked aspects of what our law enforcement officers contend with every day.

The Providing Child Care for Police Officers Act would establish a grant pilot program to provide child care services for the children of police officers to accommodate the shift work and abnormal work hours of the officers, and to enhance recruitment and retention of the workforce. Specifically, the bill authorizes $24 million in funding for each of the next 5 fiscal years under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act and allows for grants of up to $3 million to individual law enforcement agencies or consortia to establish child care programs for their police personnel. In addition, to ensure parents employed by smaller police departments receive support, 20% of the total grant funding will be set aside for law enforcement agencies employing fewer than 200 officers.

Police officers often work extended hours on a nontraditional schedule. Recent surveys show that nearly 20% of police officers are seeking to leave the profession, and at one major metropolitan police department, more than half of officers reported having to leave or miss work due to child care issues. This issue disproportionately impacts women, who make up only 12% of sworn officers and 3% of police leadership. Senator Gillibrand’s bill would help increase public safety by reducing barriers to a career in law enforcement and by ensuring the best talent is recruited into our police departments.

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) cosponsors this bill in the Senate and Representative Scott Peters (D-CA-50) leads the bill in the House of Representatives.

Supporting organizations: Sergeants Benevolent Association, 30×30, Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), International Union of Police Associations (IUPA), Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), Major Cities Chiefs Association, New York State Police Investigators Association, Policing Project at NYU School of Law, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, and the Child Care Council of Suffolk.

For more information, please click here.

For the bill text, please click here