Funding Supports Expansion of Existing Child Care Programs in Areas Without Sufficient Child Care Slots
Funding Supports Historic $7 Billion Investment in Child Care in FY 2023 State Budget
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that $30 million in additional federal grant funding will be available starting on June 30, 2022, to existing child care programs in areas of the state without sufficient child care offered, known as child care deserts. The funds, which are part of the $100 million child care desert initiative approved in the 2022 Enacted Budget, are being made available through the American Rescue Plan Act and will be administered by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. The Governor announced the previous $70 million in funding for new providers on April 11 and more than 1,100 applications have been submitted to date.
"As a mother who had no choice but to leave her job because of the lack of accessible child care, boosting child care availability for working New York families is an effort that is deeply personal to me," Governor Hochul said. "All parents deserve access to high-quality child care, regardless of where they live, and this funding will help address critical child care shortages in underserved areas. My administration will continue to prioritize this critical lifeline for working families as part of our overall economic recovery efforts."
The grants will help existing child care providers in underserved areas, and the request for applications (RFA) will have two parts. The first focuses on expanding child care in existing day care centers and school-age child care programs, with bonus funding for those slots specifically designated for infants/toddlers and/or children with special needs. The second part of the RFA focuses on expanding specific types of child care in existing small child care centers, family child care programs and group family child care programs - whose current enrollment is under capacity - specifically for infants/toddlers or children with special needs, or if the program wants to expand to include nontraditional hours.
Allowable expenses include program development costs and short-term program operating expenses, including:
- Personnel costs, including payroll, salaries, similar employee compensation, employee benefits, retirement costs and educational costs;
- Supporting staff expenses for accessing COVID-19 vaccines;
- Rent or payment on any mortgage and utilities; and
- Training and technical assistance expenses, including professional development, business trainings and business services
Providers may click here for more information on the RFA. Grant applications will begin to be accepted June 30, 2022 and will be accepted until August 4, 2022, with award announcements slated for September.
The FY 2023 budget includes a historic investment to expand access to high-quality child care to support children and families and help stimulate New York State's continued economic recovery. It includes an unprecedented $7 billion investment over four years and increases the income eligibility threshold for child care subsidies in August 2022 to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level ($83,250 for a family of four)—extending eligibility to more than half of New York State's young children.
Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, "These grants further support our existing base of child care providers, who are the backbone of the industry, by providing them with the funding necessary to expand their service footprint and increase access for families with infants, toddlers and children with special needs, and those who need coverage during untraditional hours."
Senator Charles Schumer said, "Affordable child care is a right and essential to our economic recovery. That is why when I wrote the American Rescue Plan, I made sure to include robust funding to not only help our day care and child care programs survive, but also to invest in filling the gaps in our rural and underserved communities that need child care the most. Now $30 million in federal funding that I secured will go directly to eliminating child care desserts, create jobs, and provide real help for struggling parents and children."
Representative Jamaal Bowman said, "I am pleased to see American Rescue Plan funding I worked to pass in Congress get dedicated to child care, which is critical for our youngest learners at a formative period of brain and physical developments. This additional $30 million will go a long way towards supporting children and working families. I am proud to see critical funds from the American Rescue Plan being used to support our youth and look forward to supporting our youth through more federal pushes and dollars."
Representative Adriano Espaillat said, "Child care is essential, particularly our family-based providers which were critical during the height of COVID-19. If families are to truly recover from the impact of the pandemic, they need our full commitment and support along this journey. I commend Governor Hochul for allocating this federal funding to expand child care programs to help support families most in need and encourage all eligible providers to apply and take full advantage of this funding opportunity to build programs to meet the needs of more families around the state."
Representative Joe Morelle said, "New Yorkers pay over twenty-three percent of their income on childcare costs—that places an enormous financial and emotional burden on parents, and it must change. Providing affordable, quality care will help set our children up for success from an early age. I'm proud to have delivered this funding through the American Resue Plan, and grateful to be working with Governor Hochul to support the needs of working families."
Early Care and Learning Council Executive Director Meredith Chimento said, "Early Care and Learning Council and our network of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies are very pleased to see this additional funding become available to existing child care providers that would like to expand their businesses to serve more children. We stand ready to support these providers throughout the state as they educate and nurture our young people and allow more of the workforce to return to the workplace, filling critical care gaps and bolstering the strength of our state economy."
For this funding opportunity, child care deserts are defined as census tracts where there are three or more children younger than five for each available child care slot, or there are no available child care slots in the tract. Based on this criteria, more than 60 percent of New York State is considered a child care desert. All census tracts in New York State have been mapped depending on the number of available slots, and potential child care providers can review the child care desert map to discern appropriate locales. Additional details on eligibility and requirements of the grant can be found in the RFA.
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