The state plans to use more than $65 million in federal funds to reopen or expand child care centers.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday that the federal CARES Act funding is available through the New York Forward Child Care Expansion Incentive program.
The funding available includes:
- $20 million to assist childcare program with reopening and expansion by providing materials to support social distancing needs, and for supplies and activities associated with reopening and expansion. This may include partitions, short term rental of space, etc.
- $45 million in childcare Reopening and Expansion Incentive funds to pay for 50% of the cost of a newly opened classroom (maximum grant amount of $6,000) as an incentive to open the classroom. The temporary funds will phase out over the second and third months as more parents bring their children back into childcare.
Throughout the pandemic, 65 percent of OCFS-licensed and -registered child care programs remained open, many serving families of essential workers. The funding will help to bring closed programs back to operation to serve families returning to work.
“As we move further into the reopening and more parents go back to work, we’re also making sure child care programs across the state have the support they need to reopen safely,” Cuomo said. “By providing support for expanded classrooms that allow for more social distancing and other resources, we can help keep staff and children safe.”
To be eligible for reopening funds, child care programs must have either been closed as of June 15 and have a plan to reopen within two weeks of applying or currently operating below their licensed capacity and would like to expand. The grants will be pro-rated as programs reach capacity. Programs must submit a detailed plan for use of funds and must remain open at least through the end of the year.