$2 Billion in NY Child Care Subsidies – NBC New York (47)

New York will invest $2 billion to increase the number of families receiving financial assistance for child care and the amount child care providers are paid for their essential services, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday.

The $2 billion in grants, the largest investment in state history for child care, includes $894 million in new New York State child care block grant funds approved in the recent state budget, more than $500 million in funds previously allocated to local departments of social services districts that have yet to be spent, and more than $600 million in COVID-19 pandemic funding.

These investments provide families with the support they need, while furthering New York’s economic recovery.

“I know firsthand how a lack of childcare can hurt your career, your family and your future as a working mother when I was forced to leave my job to care for my son,” Governor Hochul said. “These historic investments in New York State’s child care system will allow us to forge a new path forward for parents, especially mothers. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do, and it will power our economic recovery and support working families.” Child care is an essential service, and in New York we will continue to do everything in our power to make sure more working families have access to it.”

The funds, administered by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), will expand the initial levels for families who qualify in August 2022 up to 300% of the federal level of poverty, ($83,250 for a family of four), up to 200%, which extends the criteria to hundreds of thousands of young children in New York.

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OCFS’s grant funding announcement comes on the heels of its recent release of $30 million in federal grant funds to expand licensed, registered or permitted child care programs in areas of the state without sufficient child care slots, known like childcare deserts. These funds, which are part of the $100 million child care desert initiative approved in the 2021 Enacted Budget, are available through the American Bailout Act. More information and requests are available here. The other component of the child care desert funding, worth $70 million, opened in April.

OCFS received more than 1,700 applications from people hoping to establish new child care programs in areas of New York State facing critical child care shortages as part of the $70 million available in the enacted 2021 budget. More than half of these presentations target child care deserts specifically in New York City. Available through the American Rescue Plan Act, these funds will help child care providers in underserved neighborhoods establish child care programs; cover start-up and staff costs; recruit, train and retain staff; and support staff to access vaccines against COVID-19. Prize announcements are scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.

New York State is investing $7 billion over four years, reflecting that access to quality child care is critical to children, families, and economic recovery across the state. The state budget also expands access to high-quality child care by raising the child care market rate to the 80th percentile of provider rates in June 2022. This change will expand the child care options available to families receiving child care assistance while increasing reimbursements for child care providers. This increase makes New York State the national leader in payment rates.

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For additional information about this funding or the child care assistance program, families and providers should contact their local department of social services.

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