‘Strolling Thunder’ rally held to draw attention to affordable child care

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TRENTON -

A group of about 200 parents flooded the front lawn of the New Jersey State House with their children Thursday to draw attention to the need for affordable child care.

The “Strolling Thunder” rally was organized by the Advocates for Children of New Jersey. The group says that the new minimum wage increase set to go into effect on July 1 will have a negative impact on affordable child care. The ACNJ presented a petition with over 1,000 signatures to lawmakers hoping to secure $19 million in additional funding for child care subsidies.

New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour come July.

“Unless those rates increase to cover the cost of minimum wage, [child care] programs are afraid they’re going to have to turn parents away or go out of business,” says ACNJ president Cecilia Zalkind.

Other members said that lawmakers are asking working parents to choose between good-quality childcare and not-so-good child care due to the wage increase.

The group also rallied to bring general attention to advocacy for babies and children in the state. They say that they hope legislators will keep these families in mind when making the 2020 budget.

Anyone who wishes to get involved in the effort can find more information on the ACNJ website.

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