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10,600 applications have been approved
√ Additional CARES funding allocated to essential worker scholarship grant
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced that – less than one month since applications opened – $89 million in child care provider stabilization grant funds have been disbursed. More than 10,600 of New York's 18,000 eligible child care providers have applied for Child Care Stabilization Grant funding. To date, child care providers have requested $585 million of the available $1.1 billion in federal funding.
Hochul’s team said, “The grants directly benefit child care providers and will help to stabilize an industry that was hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York State Office of Children and Family Services is administering the funds.”
She noted, "A key part of our efforts to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic is getting New Yorkers back to work but, to do that, we must ensure they have access to quality, affordable child care. This is the single largest investment we have ever made in child care, and we are disbursing funds as quickly as possible to stabilize our state's child care industry so parents can return to the workplace. We have already had tremendous success in getting funds out the door, and I encourage all eligible providers who have not done so already to apply for this funding."
Since the grant was announced on Aug. 4, child care providers statewide have received $89 million of the requested funding. Payments are made directly to providers whose simple online applications have been approved. Child care programs may use the funding for personnel costs, rent or mortgage, utilities, facility maintenance or improvements, personal protective equipment, supplies needed to respond to COVID-19, goods and services needed to maintain or resume child care services, mental health supports for children and employees, health and safety training for staff, and other uses as outlined in the grant.
Approximately 18,000 providers statewide are eligible and 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.
OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, "The overwhelmingly positive response to the launch of the stabilization grants affirms what we already know – child care providers need direct support with as little administrative burden as possible. Our application is an online, streamlined process that takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and gets money in providers' hands quickly. We have a dedicated help line and statewide child care resource and referral programs to assist child care programs who need help applying for or accessing and implementing the stabilization grants. We are so pleased with the tremendous success of the launch and encourage all eligible providers to apply right away."
Applications are available here.
OCFS also announced an additional $61.4 million of available CARES funds has been added to the Essential Worker Scholarship Grant opportunity that launched in late June. This additional funding more than doubled the amount of the original funding allocated and is now supporting approximately 36,000 children with full child care scholarships for 12 weeks.