The school year is starting in the coming weeks, but it's expected to be a mix of in-person and remote learning for many families. And state lawmakers like Senator Sue Serino say child care needs to be considered now.
"I've waitressed for years," Serino said. "You can't do that from home. That's why it needs to be taken care of immediately. It can't wait."
New York received millions of dollars in child care funding from the federal Cares Act. But much of that money is yet to be spent. As students either return to the classroom, sit in front of the computer for a Zoom lesson or face a mix of both, Serino says the needs of working parents have to be considered.
"Previously being a child care provider and also being a single parent I can't begin to imagine them saying it's two days a week your child is in class or home, what do you do?" Serino said.
But even as some schools reopen for in-person learning, a Siena College poll released Wednesday found most New Yorkers are worried it could further the spread of the coronavirus. Siena College Research Institute director Don Levy says that cuts across the political divide.
"There is an ongoing day to day concern that you put New York back on the move, bringing everyone back to school, bringing everyone back to college, is terrifying to some New Yorkers," he said.
The poll found ongoing worries among New Yorkers over schools and businesses reopening, even if child care options are limited.
"For now life has been changed," Levy said. "I think we're really at an important moment right now because schools are reopening."