Governor Kathy Hochul and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have launched a statewide multimedia campaign to ensure families across the state have access to child care assistance.
Administered by the state Office of Children and Family Services, eligibility for child care assistance was expanded this month to include families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is up from 200 percent, extending eligibility to an estimated 394,000 young children throughout New York.
As of this month, a family of four earning up to $83,250 is now eligible for child care assistance when previously, the threshold was $55,500 or less. Governor Hochul also announced expanded eligibility for a second round of federally funded Child Care Provider Stabilization grants. As of today, all school-age child care programs and more than 900 providers that were licensed by January 1, 2022 can apply for these grants.
“As New York’s first Governor who is a mom, I know firsthand how important affordable child care can be for your future and your family,” Governor Hochul said. “By increasing the income threshold for child care assistance, we can relieve a crushing burden for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and, especially, working mothers. My administration has made historic investments in child care, and this statewide multi-media campaign is the latest crucial step we are taking to help ensure families receive the assistance they need and deserve.”
“The shortage of affordable child care in our state is nothing short of a crisis,” Senator Gillibrand added. “We have to do more to support our families and our child care workers. That’s why I’m proud to have fought to pass the American Rescue Plan and the CARES Act, legislation that is now delivering millions in federal funding to New York’s child care providers and making care more accessible and affordable for those who need it.”
The child care assistance campaign is focused on urging New Yorkers to access this benefit so they can receive help paying for high-quality child care, which is one of the largest expenses for families after the cost of housing. Starting today, OCFS will begin a billboard, radio and social media campaign to let families know they can receive help paying for child care. The campaign will feature content on digital screens in retail locations, highway billboards, bus side posters, laundromats, salons and barbershops in English and Spanish.
Governor Hochul also announced that all school age child care programs and more than 900 providers that were licensed after January 1 can now apply for the second round of child care provider stabilization grants. As part of the FY 2023 budget, $343 million was allocated for the stabilization grants, with 75 percent of the funding dedicated to workforce supports. These grants can be used to provide wage increases, bonuses, tuition reimbursement and contributions to staff retirement plans and health insurance costs.
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