Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $794 million in child care subsidy funding, an increase of $55 million over last fiscal year, to address the widespread need among low-income working families for affordable child care. Prior to this years 7.45 percent increase, allocations for the New York State Child Care Block Grant (CCBG) have remained stable for the past five years, ranging from $736 million to $739 million from 2009 to 2013. The CCBG is administered by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).
In Federal Fiscal Year 2013, approximately 223,000 children in New York State received child care subsidies. Low-income child care assistance is based on family size, the familys gross annual income, and the reason for care.
Working parents should not have to choose between affordable care for their children and maintaining a job, Governor Cuomo said. The Child Care Block Grant is a vital resource for households across New York, and I am proud that this year we are dramatically increasing the programs funding, helping to provide stability and quality child care for hard-working families statewide.
All of New Yorks children deserve quality care, and for too long, low-income families in particular have been priced out of child care due to soaring costs. The states generous increase in subsidy funds will provide greatly needed access to affordable care, said OCFS Acting Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. The support and compassion of Governor Cuomo and New Yorks legislative leaders made these funds a reality, and I thank them for approaching with clear minds the importance of supporting low-income working families.
The CCBG is the primary funding source used to pay for child care subsidies. Each year, local social services districts are advised of their allocation after passage of the state budget. The allocation primarily reflects proportionate shares of the block grant funds based on the average level of child care claims for Federal Fiscal Years 2009 through 2013. To determine allocations, OCFS used a prorated average based on five years of claims, which minimized the impact of funding shifts on counties and provided consistency and stability of allocations.
?Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos said, "This increase in child care funding will give even more hardworking New York families the opportunity to access affordable, high-quality and safe child care for their kids. By working with the Governor and our colleagues in the Assembly to secure this important increase, we are making a positive difference in the lives of working families and the children who mean the world to them."
Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Jeff Klein said, "As part of our Affordable New York agenda, the Independent Democratic Conference laid out the necessity to pass a budget that included record investments in child care subsidies. As a result of our hard-fought efforts, this budget not only includes $55 million in additional child care funding, but we've also increased the number of slots that will enable even more working class New Yorkers take advantage of this critical program. Making child care more affordable will ensure that no parent has to choose between pursuing a career opportunity or staying at home to care for a loved-one. But more importantly, we have finally begun to put an end to these runaway costs once and for all."
Senator Simcha Felder said, Child care subsidies are a lifeline for many two-income families who struggle to afford quality care while they pursue their livelihoods. I proudly supported the increased child care funding because of the support it provides to working parents and their children and the impact it has on their quality of life.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, Children are the key to our future. When we invest in them, we invest in a stronger; better New York for many generations to come. That is why it is so important to ensure they are nurtured and given a solid foundation for learning starting on day one. I want to thank Governor Cuomo and my Assembly Majority colleagues, particularly the members of the Child Care Workgroup, for their commitment to New York's working families. Together, we crafted a comprehensive budget that provides funding to preserve and foster quality, affordable child care, which will help give our children the best and brightest chances to succeed while at the same time keeping a fundamental part of our workforce employed and thriving.
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, chair of the Children and Families Committee, said, "In order to truly help middle class families thrive we must invest in high-quality, affordable child care that working parents can rely on. I am proud to have worked with Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in the Legislature to provide increased access to affordable child care for families across New York."
The vast majority of New York States counties will receive more funding to support child care subsidies than they had in the prior year. Moreover, other counties will see an increase in child care subsidy funds due to a combination of the allocation plus a rollover from the previous year.
New York State Child Care Block Grant - Social Services District Allocations
4/1/2014 - 3/31/2015
New York City
OCFS is dedicated to working collaboratively with stakeholders to address the needs and concerns of counties and providers to maximize the use of child care subsidies. Parents or caretakers receiving funds may:
- Choose to have care provided by one of the child day care providers with whom the local district has contracted for the provision of child care services; or
- Request a child care certificate, which enables the parents or caretakers to select from a full range of child care arrangements, including care by regulated child care providers and providers or legally exempt child care.
Local districts must provide child care services to the following:
- Families on temporary assistance who are required to participate in an activity;
- Families transitioning off of temporary assistance who need child care in order to work;
- Families who are eligible for temporary assistance but only want child care in order to work;
- Families who are eligible if funds are available, which includes such families as low-income working families and teen parents who are completing high school;
- Families who are eligible if funds are available and if the local district includes them as eligible families in its Child and Family Services Plan.
OCFS serves New York by promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, families, and communities, and regulates more than 21,000 child care providers with a capacity for more than 708,000 children. For more information, visit ocfs.ny.gov, like the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Facebook page, or follow @NYSOCFS on Twitter. OCFS also maintains a Spanish-language Twitter account, @NYSOCFS_espanol.