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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

For Immediate Release: 5/4/2021 GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO


Investment Will Support Essential Workers and Child Care Providers and Improve Access to Quality, Affordable Child Care 



Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the recently enacted New York State FY 2022 Budget includes an historic $5 billion investment in child care through both state and federally funded initiatives designed to restart our economy, support essential workers and child care providers, and improve access to quality, affordable child care for all eligible working New York families who need it. The budget fulfills a substantial number of the recommendations issued in Governor Cuomo's Child Care Availability Task Force report. Governor Cuomo created the Child Care Availability Task Force to bring private and public stakeholders together to examine innovative approaches to affordability and access to child care. 


"Parents should never have to choose between going to work and providing for their families or having affordable, quality child care," Governor Cuomo said. "The COVID pandemic only exacerbated the problems and inequities that already existed in our society, and as we continue to rebuild and recover, child care will play a critical role in getting New Yorkers back to work and reopening our economy. The historic investments included in this year's budget will help support both working families and the child care providers that have been so essential during these unprecedented times so we can build back better, stronger and more inclusive than before." 


Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor and Chair of the New York State Council on Women and Girls, said, "For far too long, the lack of safe, affordable child care has held countless women back from advancing in their careers and we are laser-focused on ending that trend once and for all. The Child Care Availability Task Force brought together New York's best and brightest minds to find innovative solutions to these problems and thanks to their hard work, this year's state budget includes historic funding for programs that will begin to make things right. This is one more step towards leveling the playing field for women in New York and we are committed to continue finding ways to reduce child care costs for working parents, while also expanding access to quality child care for families in every corner of this great state." 


"Well before COVID-19, I fought to address the child care crisis that's been holding women, families, and our economy back for far too long," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and Co-Chair of the New York State Child Care Task Force. "This pandemic has only exacerbated inequity in both the workplace and home. New York State remains committed to improving access to quality and affordable child care for all families and is doubling down to support families struggling to make ends meet." 


The Governor has also begun implementation of another Task Force recommendation by directing OCFS and the New York State Council on Children and Families to examine federal and state statutes and regulations to identify opportunities for reform and streamlining, including eliminating redundant background checks that increase administrative burdens and costs for child care providers. 


Over the last decade, Governor Cuomo has been relentlessly committed to improving child care access and supporting families with child care-aged children. Each year since 2011, New York committed approximately $800 million to help low-income New Yorkers access high-quality care. Including child-focused tax credits and pre-kindergarten programs, support for families with child care-aged children totals nearly $2.8 billion, an increase of more than $500 million since FY 2011. 


In addition to this annual support in the state budget, the federal government is providing $2.3 billion in stimulus funds ($469 million from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 and $1.8 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021). This includes: 


•$1.25 billion for stabilization grants to keep child care providers open 

•$225 million to expand access and subsidy eligibility to 200% of the federal poverty level 

•$25 million to provide child care scholarships for essential workers 

•$291 million to support 12-month cycles for child care subsidy eligibility determinations 

•$50 million to support facilitated enrollment for child care programs 

•$192 million to limit family subsidy copays to no more than 10 percent of their income above the federal poverty level 

•$120 million to provide child care subsidy payments for up to 24 absences per year 

•$100 million to increase and expand child care capacity in child care "deserts" 

•$40 million for cleaning, personal protective equipment and other supplies for child care providers 

•$39 million to support the Quality Stars NY program and to make technology improvements in child care systems 


Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner and Task Force Co-Chair Sheila J. Poole said, "No parent should have to decide between working or doing what is best for their child. This problem has disproportionately affected families of color and those living in low-income communities and it absolutely must stop. Every child deserves the benefit of early learning that will stay with them for life. And every parent deserves to go to work knowing that their child is safe and well cared for." 


New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing that affordable and accessible child care is a societal issue that impacts every corner of our communities, from families to businesses, regardless of neighborhood or economic status.  I want to thank the members of this task force who put their heart and soul into hours of difficult conversations and analyzed mountains of data to come up with innovative and realistic solutions to address this complex problem."  


The Child Care Availability Task Force is comprised of representatives from the child care provider community, the advocacy community, representatives of the business community, unions that represent child care providers, representatives from several state agencies and local departments of social services. 


New York State Child Care Availability Task Force Members


Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor, Executive Chamber Representative 

Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor, State of New York, Task Force Co-Chair 

Sheila Poole, Commissioner, NYS Office of Children and Family Services, Task Force Co-Chair 

Roberta Reardon, Commissioner, NYS Department of Labor, Task Force Co-Chair 

Andrea Anthony, Executive Director, Day Care Council of New York 

Heather C. Briccetti, President and CEO, Business Council of New York State 

Sonja Brown, Regional Director, Lower Hudson Valley Workforce Development Institute 

Jada Callahan, Parent 

Meredith Menzies Chimento, Executive Director, Early Care and Learning Council 

Hilda Rosario Escher, Former CEO, Ibero American Action League, Member, Finger Lakes REDC 

Anne Goldman, Vice President for Non-Department of Education members, United Federation of Teachers 

Mike Hein, Commissioner, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance 

Dede Hill, Director of Policy, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy 

Kristen Kerr, Executive Director, NYAEYC 

Sue Kowaleski, Board Member, Family Child Care Association of New York Coordinator, Southern Adirondack Child Care Network 

Tiffany Malone, Owner/Operator, ABC Learn and Play 

Larry Marx, CEO, The Children's Agenda 

Yolanda McBride, Director of Public Policy, Children's Aid 

Sarah G. Merrick, Commissioner, Onondaga County Department of Social Services 

Jenn O'Connor, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Prevent Child Abuse New York 

Renee Rider, Executive Director, New York State Council on Children and Families 

Jennifer L. Marion Rojas, Executive Director, Child Care Council of Suffolk, Inc. 

Betty A. Rosa, Commissioner, NYS Education Department 

Ian Rosenblum, Executive Director, The Education Trust- New York 

Sheri L. Scavone, Executive Director, Western New York Women's Foundation 

Michael Schmidt, Commissioner, Department of Tax & Finance 

Elizabeth Starks, Executive Director, Chautauqua Lake Child Care Center 

Kate Tarrant, Director of Research, New York Early Professional Development Institute, CUNY 

Kelly L. Tobin, Executive Director, YWCA of Cortland County