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$65 million in federal CARES Act funding will support child care programs reopening

The following email was sent to child care providers on June 30 by UFT Family Child Care Providers Chapter Chair Tammie Miller.

I have some exciting news to share with you about how the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act will support your child care program as the state reopens. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that $65 million in federal CARES Act funding is available for child care providers statewide through the New York Forward Child Care Expansion Incentive program.

The available funding includes:

  • $20 million to assist child care programs with reopening and expanding capacity by providing materials to support a more socially distant model, and for supplies and activities associated with reopening and expansion. This may include partitions, short-term rental of space and other expenses.
  • $45 million in child care reopening and expansion incentive funds to pay for 50% of the cost of a newly-opened classroom (a 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 child care programs.

Throughout the pandemic, 65% of the state Office of Children and Family Services licensed and registered child care programs remained open, many serving families of essential workers. The available funding will help bring closed programs back to operation to serve families returning to the workplace.

Cuomo said as the state's reopening continues and parents return to work, the state will help keep child care providers and children safe "by providing support for expanded classrooms that allow for more social distancing and other resources." Read Cuomo's June 23 announcement about the funding.

How to apply for a state grant

To be eligible for reopening funds, child care programs must be closed as of June 15 and have a plan to reopen within two weeks of applying, or they must currently operate below their licensed capacity and plan to expand. The grants will be prorated as programs reach capacity. Programs must submit a detailed plan for using the funds and must remain open at least through the end of the year. 

The maximum awards for the $20 million reopening and restructuring incentives depend on the size of the program and range from $300 to $1,600 one-time grants. Child care programs may apply on the state OCFS website or by downloading their application using the links below. Please note: The submission deadline is Wednesday, July 15, at 5 p.m.

Download the application for licensed/registered programs »

Download the application for informal or legally exempt programs »

Related Topics: Chapter News, Coronavirus