ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Since the pandemic, over 2000 child care centers have shut down, putting families in a difficult situation. In a press conference on Monday, Governor Hochul announced funding to help alleviate this issue.

“A typical New York family has to spend 40% of their income on child care for two kids…So today I’m announcing over $70 million for child care to go to 344 new child care providers,” said Hochul. Nearly two million women have left the workforce since the pandemic to care for their children. This was due to child care being too expensive or a unavailable. The new funds will create 2000 new slots for children and give moms the opportunity to get back into the workforce.

Currently, 60% of New York City is considered to be a child care desert. Governor Hochul says one way to alleviate this issue is by focusing on implementing child care in non-traditional places which is part of the administrations economic development strategy. “Converting spaces, maybe some office space we see in midtown and other places, converting that to child care centers. I said people aren’t coming back to work because there’s no one to take care of the kids. Imagine if the kids were taken care of at the place of work?  In a nurturing environment with trained professionals,” said Hochul.

Additionally, child care subsidies have expanded. Families earning $82,000 instead of the originally required $52,000 can apply for child care payment assistance. 

“We are also excited that the state has updated its formula for reimbursing providers and hope that this important action will bring desperately needed support to many existing providers in our sector who are struggling to recover from the pandemic” said Tara Gardner, Executive Director at Day Care Council of New York Inc. The applications for federal funding for existing providers are open until August 24th.