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Nearly $1.1 billion in grants to support child care providers, enable return to workplace


Fri, Jul 30th 2021 01:55 pm

Represents largest single investment in child care in state history
√ American Rescue Plan Act and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act funding will directly support child care provider stabilization grants; applications open next week

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced New York 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 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, Aug. 4. This announcement gives child care providers time to prepare and gather relevant materials needed for their application.

"Stabilizing the child care industry is critical to New York's economic rebirth," Cuomo said. "Many child care providers struggled to stay open throughout the pandemic as parents stayed home with their children. This monumental investment – the largest single investment in child care in our state's history – will allow these programs to continue providing essential services and enable more parents to return to the workplace full time."

Lt. Gov. 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 they will begin serving children within a specified timeframe.

OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, "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."

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.

A press release stated, “OCFS understands that child care providers need direct support with as little administrative burden as possible. The agency has developed technical solutions to determine eligibility and facilitate direct payment to child care programs using an online, streamlined application. Additionally, child care resource and referral programs are available to assist child care programs looking for aid in applying for or otherwise accessing and implementing the stabilization grants.”

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