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State announces $2B expansion of child care funding

May 24, 2022 12:45 am

Steve Hughes is reporting for the Times Union thousands of families will now be eligible for child care support as part of a $2 billion expansion of child care funding in New York. Gov. Kathy Hochul said on May 20, the funding was part of the state’s recovery from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a recognition of the lack of child care options for families statewide. “These historic investments in New York State's child care system will allow us to forge a new path forward for parents, especially mothers,” Hochul said in a statement. “It is the right thing to do, the moral thing to do, and will supercharge our economic recovery and support working families.” Approximately 1,500 child care providers closed between April 2020 and last February — a period of just 10 months, according to data from the Schuyler Center, a research and advocacy group focused on family issues. And the Capital Region was considered a child care desert, with not enough providers for the number of children in need, before the pandemic. As part of the investment, the state’s Office of Children and Family Services will expand the eligibility levels for families in August 2022 to up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $83,250 for a family of four. The state also recently released $30 million in federal funding to expand child care programs in the parts of New York without enough childcare slots. The state has received more than 1,700 applications from potential new child care providers and awards for that program are expected in the coming weeks, Hochul’s office said. Information on the Child Care Assistance Program is available from local Departments of Social Services. Read the full story in the Times Union.