ALABANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– New York State is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.
“New York State lost over 2,000 child care programs,” stated Governor Kathy Hochul. “I’m not talking about slots. I’m talking about programs. And over 20,000 childcare slots that were there before the pandemic, when things were still really tight, those are gone now as well.”
To help families struggling with childcare, $7 billion was set aside in the state budget.
“Thus far, we have allocated over $100 million dollars of the funding to create over 12,000 new childcare slots in childcare deserts. So that’s what we already have done. But now, we are investing 2 billion into subsidies. What does a subsidy do? Well, it says to the family, you’re not all on your own,” explained Hochul.
The subsidies will provide $9,000 per child and the state will broaden the eligibility for families of four who make up to $83,000 a year.
In addition, school-age childcare programs and newly licensed childcare providers can apply for a second round of federally funded grants.
“This is direct money to the providers so they can stay in business,” said Senator Kirsten Gilibrand. “So they can offer more slots. Offer more jobs to more teachers, early childhood educators. It allows them to expand facilities. It allows them to do whatever they need to get their childcare center up and running.”
Kristen Kerr is Executive Director for the NYS Association for the Education of Young children weighed in.
“The grants that the governor just announced are a critical stopgap measure in terms of making sure that programs can stay open and remain fiscally sound, but we need as a nation and as a state to find a long term solution,” said Kerr.
A state PSA campaign will be taking place to make sure families are aware of the help they can receive for childcare.