ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A new state task force will examine the availability of child care across New York state.

The panel, which met for the first time earlier this month, includes child care providers, child welfare advocates and business leaders.

Created as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2018 Women's Agenda, the task force is charged with coming up with ways to improve access to affordable, quality child care throughout the state.

Cuomo, a Democrat, says availability of child care is essential to the state's economy, since a lack of child care options can force parents to choose between caring for a child and working.

Initial recommendations from the task force are expected to be submitted to the Cuomo administration next year.