New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Wall Street Journal NYC Councilman To Propose Free Babysitting by Mara Gay

NYC Councilman To Propose Free Babysitting
New York City Councilman Ben Kallos says he plans to introduce a bill that would allow care givers to attend public hearings and community-board meetings.
 
New York City Councilman Ben Kallos says he plans to introduce a bill that would allow care givers to attend public hearings and community-board meetings. PHOTO: ERIK MCGREGOR/PACIFIC PRESS/ZUMA PRESS
 

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.

Issues

Get involved to make your voice heard.

Get monthly updates with the information you need to make a difference.