Parents who are on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic have some relief, with scholarships for free child care.
The Child Care Council Inc. said Friday that during the COVID-19 crisis, income-eligible essential workers in Monroe, Livingston and Wayne counties can apply for full scholarships through the agency.
To qualify, families of eligible workers must have an adjusted gross income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $78,600 for a family of four. Essential workers using a licensed or registered child care provider will receive a scholarship for the cost of care while New York state is on PAUSE, as long as the funds to support it are available.
The funding for essential workers comes to the state from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which has provided the state with $163.6 million in emergency relief to the child care system. New York state is using a portion of this funding to provide free child care for eligible essential workers.
“Child Care Council applauds Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration for developing a plan to provide child care to essential workers at no cost,” said Barbara-Ann Mattle, CEO of the Child Care Council. “Access to affordable, quality child care is a barrier for working parents during the best of times, and even more so during this crisis. The CARES Child Care Scholarship will ensure that children of the essential workforce are protected and cared for as they continue to serve the community.”
Parents can contact the Child Care Council to apply. Council staff will reach out to applicants within one to two business days to gather more information and help identify a participating child care program or work with their current registered or licensed child care provider. The council will use the gathered information to establish that they are an essential employee, enroll them in the CARES Child Care Scholarship and ensure that the child care program gets paid.
Cornell university’s Agricultural Workforce Development program also suggested parents look into local YMCA daycare programs, some of which have expanded at this time.
While the Agri-Business Child Development program of the NYS Federation of Growers’ and Processors’ Associations normally operates daycare centers for farmworkers and food processors, those programs are currently closed until May 1. Cornell suggested, however, that families check in with the centers because they’re considering a change. ABCD operates at least five daycare centers in the Rochester/Finger Lakes area.
Includes reporting by Diana Louise Carter. [email protected]/ (585) 363-7275