October is first month of child care eligibility expansion
√ Budget raises eligibility limit to federal maximum for families in program, costs capped at 1% above poverty line
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced “significant progress” made in expanding access to affordable child care for New York’s families, through raising the child care eligibility limit to the federal maximum, as well as capping child care costs and increasing allowable absences for families in the Child Care Assistance Program.
This move, part of a $7.6 billion child care investment over four years, raises CCAP eligibility from 300% of the federal poverty level ($83,250 for a family of four) to 85% of the state median income ($93,200 for a family of four), assisting more than 100,000 additional New York families.
“As someone who faced significant challenges in pursuing my career because of the high cost of child care, I understand the strain so many families are feeling,” Hochul said. “Through direct action, we are expanding access for parents and caregivers. Families will have greater peace of mind knowing their children will be able to receive safe, high-quality child care when needed.”
Effective Oct. 1, New York state is further expanding eligibility for the CCAP, managed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Families participating in the program will have their child care costs limited to 1% of the total family income above the poverty line. New York state has additionally increased the number of allowable annual absences from 24 to 80 days in an effort to standardize child care assistance across the local districts.
Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Suzanne Miles-Gustave said, “Committing to historic child care funding is one thing, but investing in concrete assistance and programs where it can make the greatest impact to meet the immediate needs of New Yorkers, is another. I am grateful to Gov. Hochul for understanding how critical it is to reimagine our child care system and shape it into one that is based in true equity, which will lead to greater access and affordability. It’s what New York’s hardworking families deserve and OCFS is proud to be overseeing this transformation.”
The enacted fiscal year 2024 budget created the Workforce Retention Grant Program, making $500 million in underutilized federal funds available as grants for eligible child care programs; a new $25 million Employer Child Care Tax Credit will be available to businesses over the next two years to create new child care seats, and expand existing options, for workers; and the state has made an additional a $4.8 million investment in a new Employer-Sponsored Child Care Pilot Program.
The governor also recently announced that more than 48,000 New York military families can now receive child care fee assistance that covers 15,000 state-licensed child care providers. The military fee assistance will offset the cost of child care not covered by the parent fee as calculated by their total family income up to a maximum child care rate of $1,800 per month per child.