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We did it! 

Congratulations! Because of your advocacy on behalf of children and families, the New York State legislature adopted its budget for the new fiscal year that began on April 1st with significant investment in children and families supported by over $2.4 billion in federal funds. Without you and your dedication to children, families and child care providers, the budget could have looked very different. Your voices made a difference. 

Here’s a summary of what was included: 

  • $105 million for PreK; 
  • $1.26 billion for stabilization grants for providers; 
  • $291 million to provide 12 months of eligibility for services to families; 
  • $225 million to expand local social service districts allocations to provide increased access to child care for families with an income up to 200% of the federal poverty level; 
  • $192 million to reduce copayments for families to 10% of their income above the federal poverty level; 
  • $120 million to cover 24 absences per year for child care providers, including payments for absences in SFY 2020-21; 
  • $100 million for child care deserts; 
  • $50 million for the expansion of child care facilitated enrollment demonstration projects at existing locations; 
  • $40 million in grants for cleaning, personal protective equipment, and other supplies; 
  • $39 million to support QualityStarsNY program to provide improvements to the child care system; and 
  • $25 million for essential workers. 

While we do not yet have details on how this money will be distributed and what role CCRR will play in the distribution, we and our colleagues at resource and referral agencies statewide have been in contact with the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), NYS Education Department, school districts, and our state legislators to have our voices heard as plans are developed. 

Our job is not done. OCFS must submit to the federal government their application for Child Care and Development Funds for 2022-2024, their roadmap for the next three years. The CCDF is a federal and state partnership program (over $10 billion in federal funding) authorized under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG). States use CCDF to support children, families, and child care providers in many ways. 

You can sign up to share your thoughts on how these funds should be spent. Hearings are scheduled for Monday, May 17, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Thursday, May 20, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you are interested, or have questions, please contact me. And thank you for your continued dedication to improving access to child care!