Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York State will provide $25 million in child-care scholarships to all essential workers starting June 23, 2021. The scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis.
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.
Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, transportation workers, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others.
“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, “Governor Cuomo said. “These individuals went to work so others could stay home and we must continue to support them in every way we can. We are proud to provide these child-care scholarships to our essential workers, giving them peace of mind that their children are safe so they can continue to show up to work each and every day and support their families.”
Essential staff whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level (or $79,500 for a family of four) will be paid up to market rate for child-care in each region statewide. Children aged six weeks through 12 years are eligible, as well as children age 13 through 19 who are physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves. Essential workers can use the funding to pay for their existing care arrangement, or for a new child-care provider.
Families currently receiving child-care scholarships under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), which ends June 28, will need to reapply for this scholarship.
Parents can apply for funding through a single, streamlined online application, and providers will be paid directly on behalf of the parent. The online application can be submitted starting June 23, 2021, until funds are depleted.
In response to a query as to how the funds will be disbursed, Monica Mahaffey, Assistant Commissioner for Communications of the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) told Hamodia to “keep in mind that there are eligibility limits, so not every essential worker is eligible for funding. We do not anticipate that the funding will run out that quickly, but we just can’t say with certainty right now how long it will last.”
Additional funding announcements may be made throughout the coming weeks.
Updated Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 5:42 pm .