State to make $1.1 billion available for child care providers

State to make $1.1 billion available for child care providers

New York state will make nearly $1.1 billion in federal funding available for child care providers to help stabilize the industry and enable more parents to return to the workplace full time.

The funding, available through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, is the largest single investment in child care in the state’s history. It will provide direct support to child care providers and help replenish losses from the pandemic.

“We can’t have a full economic recovery without boosting affordable and quality child care services for New York families, particularly working women who have been disproportionately set back by the pandemic,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in a statement. “This funding provides critical support for child care providers who have suffered during the pandemic. Child care workers have courageously shown up to allow frontline workers to go to work, and we need to have their back now more than ever.”

Eligible providers include OCFS-licensed or registered programs, permitted New York City daycare centers and legally exempt group programs that are enrolled with an enrollment agency. To be eligible, the programs must have been open and serving children in person as of March 11, 2021, and open and available to provide in-person services on the date they apply for the grant. This includes child care providers that are open and staffed to provide in-person care even if there are no children currently enrolled. Programs that are not providing services on the date of application may also be eligible for this grant if the program closed temporarily due to public health, financial hardship or other reasons relating to the COVID-19, and attest that they will begin serving children within a specified timeframe.

“The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the critical role child care plays in supporting children, families and businesses. Throughout the pandemic, some child care programs remained open to serve the families of essential workers who could not stay home. As more people return to work, child care is foundational to reopening our state’s economy,” said OCFS Commissioner Sheila Poole.

OCFS will award more than $10 million in technical assistance funds to 35 child care resource and referral agencies and other key stakeholders to support child care providers in accessing and implementing the stabilization grants.

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