New York City’s growing government may soon add one more service to the mix: free child care.
The city would offer free babysitting at public hearings and community-board meetings under new legislation expected to be introduced by Councilman Ben Kallos this month.
Mr. Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, said the bill would be aimed at increasing participation in local government.
“It’s really hard to get parents to come to community-board meetings,” he said in a phone interview. “Along with that comes a lack of diversity in the people I see involved in government and politics.”
There isn’t yet a cost estimate for the legislation, Mr. Kallos said. The measure would require the city to provide child care upon request through the Administration for Children’s Services, the child-welfare agency.
In the overwhelmingly Democratic City Council, the child-care measure is likely to quickly gain support. The 51-member body has in recent years passed legislation providing free attorneys for tenants facing eviction, as well as immigrants facing deportation. It has enacted paid sick-leave legislation, and approved a measure to provide free feminine-hygiene products in schools, jails and homeless shelters.