Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $65 million in federal CARES Act funding is now available for child care providers statewide through the New York Forward Child Care Expansion Incentive program.
The funding available includes:
- $20 million to assist childcare program with reopening and expansion of capacity by providing materials to support a more socially distant model, and for supplies and activities associated with reopening and expansion. This may include partitions, short term rental of space, etc.
- $45 million in childcare Reopening and Expansion Incentive funds to pay for 50% of the cost of a newly opened classroom (maximum grant amount of $6,000) as an incentivize to open the classroom. The temporary funds will phase out over the second and third months as more parents bring their children back into childcare.
Throughout the pandemic, 65 percent of OCFS-licensed and -registered child care programs remained open, many serving families of essential workers. The funding being made available today will help to bring closed programs back to operation to serve families returning to the workplace.
“New York went from one of the highest infection rates in the country to one of the lowest because we made decisions based on science – not politics,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’re seeing in other states what happens when you just reopen with no regard for metrics or data – it’s bad for public health and for the economy, and states that reopened in a rush are now seeing a boomerang. We do about 60,000 tests per day – more than any state or country on a per capita basis and approximately 1 percent of tests are coming back positive. We do this testing religiously, and we watch the rate and calibrate our reopening by that rate. The Hudson Valley moves to phase 3 today and Long Island will go to phase 3 tomorrow.
“As we move further into the reopening and more parents go back to work, we’re also making sure child care programs across the state have the support they need to reopen safely,” Governor Cuomo continued. “By providing support for expanded classrooms that allow for more social distancing and other resources, we can help keep staff and children safe.”
To be eligible for reopening funds, child care programs must have either been closed as of June 15 and have a plan to reopen within two weeks of applying or currently operating below their licensed capacity and would like to expand. The grants will be pro-rated as programs reach capacity. Programs must submit a detailed plan for use of funds and must remain open at least through the end of the year.
The maximum awards for the $20 million in Reopening and Restructuring Incentives depend on the size of the program and range from $300 to $1,600 one-time grants. Child care programs may apply to OCFS through July 15.
The governor also updated New Yorkers on the state’s progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at forward.ny.gov.