Lawmakers are pushing ahead with a series of proposals to address New York's child care crisis. They say continuing issues of affordability and workforce development are exacerbating the issue across the state.

Coming out of the budget process, child care advocates were disappointed by a lack of progress, but say they are encouraged that three significant bills did pass at the very end of session. Now, they are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to take action.

“We passed some important bills with overwhelming bipartisan support,” said Shoshana Hershkowitz, campaign manager for the Empire State Campaign for Child Care.

That includes a bill to provide immediate assistance for families waiting for their long-term child care eligibility to be processed.

“On Friday, you get a job and you’re asked to start on Monday, and you can’t access that child care assistance for weeks and weeks. You should be presumed eligible so you can go to work and start that new job,” she said.

Another bill, she said, would end a policy that denies child care assistance to parents and caregivers who, in some cases, are working but not earning enough to qualify.

“You have to earn the equivalent of the minimum wage,” she said of current state law.

She insisted that for many working parents and caregivers, that simply is not the case.

“Ironically, some of the people that eliminates are home child care providers who make an average of $11 an hour,” she said. “It also eliminates a lot of independent contractors. It could eliminate those in the gig economy, a lot of part-time workers.”

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Sarah Clark, is calling on Hochul to sign the bill, telling reporters Tuesday that families can’t wait for relief.

“We know there is probably 10,000 families across New York who will become eligible if it is signed by the governor, and we hope it will be,” she said.

Clark said the bill works to fix antiquated polices.

“It’s one of those old pieces of policy that we have held onto for years,” she said.

Ignoring, Hershkowitz argued, the realities of an evolving economy.

“The world has changed with the gig economy and people working fluctuating hours, we don’t live in a nine-to-five world anymore,” she said.

The third bill would decouple a parent’s child care assistance from the specific hours that they work, further opening up opportunities for parents who work off hours.

Last year, the governor vetoed a similar piece of legislation. Spectrum News 1 asked the governor’s office what she planned to do with the three bills, and were told in a statement that she is reviewing the legislation.

Advocates say heading into next session they will continue to push strategies to develop and strengthen the child care workforce, efforts that largely failed to gain traction this year.