NEW YORK (WETM) — Essential workers in New York will soon be able to apply for child care scholarships as part of a $25 million plan outlined by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday.
“Essential workers have always been the backbone of our economy, they got us through the darkest hours of the pandemic and are playing a critical role in our reopening and recovery,” Cuomo said in a written statement. “These individuals went to work so others could stay home and we must continue to support them in every way we can.”
Parents can apply here for funding through a single online application, and providers will be paid directly on behalf of the parent. The online application can be submitted starting Tuesday, and the program will last until funds are depleted. Applications will be processed and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Child care costs will be covered for essential staff whose income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level (or $79,500 for a family of four) and will be paid up to the market rate for each region statewide for children aged 6 weeks through 12 years. Families currently receiving child care scholarships under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act are strongly encouraged to also apply for this new funding opportunity, as that program’s child care scholarships end on Friday, and everyone will need to reapply.
Essential workers—including first responders, health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, transportation workers, food delivery workers, grocery store employees, and others—can use the funding to pay for their existing care arrangement, or for a new child care provider. Cuomo says this is the first in a series of new investments to support working families and the child care industry through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and American Rescue Plan Act.
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services will administer the funding.
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Workers who need child care can contact their local child care resource and referral agency to find openings.