Federal programs will directly support child care

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ALBANY – The State will administer nearly $1.1 billion in federal funding directly to child care providers to help stabilize the industry and enable more parents to return to the workplace fulltime. The funding – available through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act – represents the largest single investment in child care in New York State history. It will provide direct support to child care programs and help replenish losses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 The New York State Office of Children and Family Services will manage the grant funding. Funding applications will open Wednesday, August 4.  Today’s announcement gives child care providers time to prepare and gather relevant materials needed for their application.

Lt. Governor and Child Care Availability Task Force Co-Chair Kathy Hochul said, “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. This funding provides critical support for child care providers who have suffered during the pandemic. Child care workers have courageously showed 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 day care 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.