State Funds Enhance Child Care Services, Afterschool Programs, Workforce Training, and Comprehensive Family Support Systems
Complements Governor’s Commitment to Expanding Affordable Child Care Options for New York Families
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the opening of the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center’s new $3.3 million facility in the Town of Southampton, Long Island. Situated on six acres donated to create BHCCRC in the early 1950s, the state-of-the-art, 7,828-square-foot building marks a significant milestone in expanding vital services and serving lower-income working families living on Long Island’s East End. With a focus on affordable child care, enriching summer programs, and diverse recreational activities, BHCCRC empowers families and children while fostering social development.
"This new facility will help expand access to the high-quality child care options and educational programs families in East End and across Long Island deserve," Governor Hochul said. "By investing in this state-of-the-art facility, we are investing in working parents and giving them the support they need to remain in the workforce while providing their kids with academic enrichment and care.”
The Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center (BHCCRC), a historically Black, community-based institution, has been a beacon of support for marginalized East End children and working families for generations. BHCCRC offers flexible scheduling options, workforce training, enriching after-school programs, summer and teen programs, college prep classes, and a food pantry. Featuring multiple classrooms, a computer lab, tutoring spaces, offices, additional bathrooms, community space, and a kitchen, the new Center will promote an inclusive and nurturing environment for learning, growth, and social development. With an increased capacity, BHCCRC will be able to serve more children and families, strengthening the East End community by providing essential education, enrichment, child care, and support to those who need it the most.
As a cornerstone of the East End community, BHCCRC promotes the well-being and sustainable growth of the region. Empire State Development is supporting the new Center with a $300,000 grant, recommended by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, reflecting New York State's commitment to promoting social equity and expanding economic opportunities for underserved communities across the State.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "A thriving economy is tied to a workforce equipped with accessible child care options. The Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center's new facility will bolster support for families and their children, contributing to a stronger local economy while supporting the vibrancy of the East End community.”
Empire State Development Board Chairman Kevin Law said, "When we support working families, we strengthen our community and regional economy. From enriching young minds to enabling parents to excel in their careers, the Center’s new facility will nurture both the social fabric and economic potential of Long Island for generations to come."
LIREDC Co-Chairs Linda Armyn, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Dr. John Nader, President of Farmingdale State College, said, "It's an honor to join Governor Hochul in commemorating this significant milestone that supports hardworking families on Long Island’s East End. Enhancing the accessibility of child care marks a momentous stride towards regional economic advancement and holds the key to uplifting both businesses and the community."
State Senator Anthony Palumbo said, "Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreation Center's new facility is helping to ensure that all families and children have access to exceptional and affordable childcare options on the East End of Long Island and addresses the region's growing demand for childcare services."
Assemblymember Fred W. Thiele, Jr. said, "It is with immense pride and gratitude that we celebrate the official ribbon cutting of the new building at the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center (The Center). It is a watershed moment for the Center, an historically black, community-based organization serving all marginalized East End children and families. The Center's educational and enrichment programs are a lifeline for working families. New York's investment in the Center is not just in bricks and mortar, but in the future of our community. The Center, deeply rooted in our history and driven by compassion, has nurtured the well-being of East End children and families since the tragic fire in the 1950's that spurred its creation. Under the exceptional leadership of Executive Director Bonnie Michelle Cannon, the Center fosters an inclusive environment that promotes growth, knowledge, and empowerment, regardless of background. Together, we are building a foundation of hope and opportunity that will uplift generations to come."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "This facility offers an incredible opportunity for Suffolk County families with flexible scheduling, workforce training, after-school programs, and much more. I want to thank Governor Hochul for her commitment to working households and creating a stronger more cohesive community."
We are investing in working parents and giving them the support they need to remain in the workforce while providing their kids with academic enrichment and care.”
Town of Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said, “The day has finally arrived to open up the doors of the center’s new building and welcome all the smiling children who will learn and grow here, within these walls. This community has been committed to this new learning center project because everyone understands that these children represent our future.”
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming said, “For decades, the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreation Center has played a critically important role in providing childcare and educational services to our east end community, particularly to those underserved and lacking in resources. With the expansion of facilities, the Center now is able to increase what it offers to the community from after-school, music and summer programs to college prep and workforce training. As a County Legislator, I am proud that Suffolk County has played a part in ensuring the Center continues its work for generations to come and remains an anchor to the community. I congratulate the Center and its many partners and supporters for this wonderful achievement.”
Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center Executive Director Bonnie Michelle Cannon said, “We want everyone to know that The Center does way more than Child Care & Recreational activities. We are a full-service community Center that has been here for 70 years. Every student gets personal mentoring and one-on-one guidance. We create opportunity and help level the playing field for our marginalized children and families. We pride ourselves on being a family.
President and CEO of the Long Island Association and Chair of the Child Care Council of Suffolk Matt Cohen said, “Child care is also an economic development issue and thus the business community commends Governor Hochul for prioritizing and investing in child care. A state-of-the-art new facility in Bridgehampton will allow parents to work which will lead to greater regional economic growth, while giving their children a safe and educational environment to socialize and learn."
The Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center stands as a vital foundation of support for families and children residing in the East End of Long Island. New York State's support for organizations like Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center is crucial in fostering equity and prosperity across the State. By investing in early childhood education and afterschool programs, workforce participation, and comprehensive family support, New York is laying the foundation to uplift lower-income working families, promote social mobility, and foster stronger, more cohesive communities.
The completion of Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center also underscores Governor Hochul’s ongoing commitment to providing quality child care options for New York families. As part of the FY 2024 Budget, the Governor secured a four-year, $7 billion investment in child care that included $500 million to bolster New York’s child care workforce through the Workforce Retention Grant program and $4.8 million for a new Employer-Sponsored Child Care Pilot Program where participating employers, the state and employees will split the cost of child care. The FY 2024 Budget also included $1 million to create a statewide business navigator program in each of the 10 Regional Economic Development Council regions to help interested businesses identify options to support employees’ child care needs. The funding will also be used to develop a statewide employer child care guidebook. The Governor’s investment also included $179 million in tax relief for families with children under the age of four through an expansion of the Empire State Tax Credit.
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