Jeff Masters Hurricane Blog

NYC’s day cares grapple with flooding » Yale Climate Connections

In 2021, heavy rains flooded Yolanda Miguel’s Brooklyn, New York, home – and the home-based day care facility she runs.

Miguel: “Everything was messed up. Everything get wet. We have to throw everything out … all the toys, mats. … I was devastated at the beginning, but we have to keep on going.”

Miguel is one of more than 2,000 licensed child care providers in New York City who operate out of homes with basements or cellars. Many of those providers use that basement space for classrooms, offices, and storage.

But as climate change brings more extreme storms, these spaces are vulnerable to flooding.

Shea: “And for family child care providers, this threatens not only their home but their business and their livelihood.”

Amy Shea is with the Low-Income Investment Fund. The nonprofit has helped child care providers pay to repair and renovate flood-damaged facilities.

Miguel qualified for a grant of more than $60,000, which was used to replace flooring and windows and install drainage pipes to help protect against future floods.

Miguel: “It helped me a lot.”

The nonprofit has funded work at 19 child care programs. Shea says it’s a start, but more is needed to protect these businesses that families depend on.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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