NEW YORK (WWTI) – Federal funding for child care has been awarded to over 60 providers in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, according to a press release from Governor Kathy Hochul’s office.

To help increase capacity at existing state-licensed, registered or permitted childcare programs, $30 million has been awarded to 418 child care programs in underserved locations in the state, $620,500 of which has been awarded to 18 programs in the North Country and $2,605,000 in the Finger Lakes.

“No New Yorker should ever suffer the far-reaching and heart-wrenching effects of unaffordable and inaccessible child care programs,” Governor Hochul said. “These latest awards will help New Yorkers access the quality child care programs they need to provide for their families and build careers. My administration will continue to make crucial investments in child care, ensuring working families and vulnerable populations receive the support and assistance they deserve.”

The funding is made available through the American Rescue Plan Act to help providers in child care deserts build programs, support their staff in accessing the COVID-19 vaccine and recruit, train and retain workers.

Child care deserts are areas where there are three or more children under the age of five for each available child care slot or there are no available slots at all. Approximately 60% of New York State is considered a child care desert.

“This funding recognizes the acute shortage of infant and toddler child care and the lack of available child care in rural areas,” New York State Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Sheila Poole said. “It’s hard to go to work when you can’t find anyone to care for your child, which can also contribute to the labor shortage. Early child care experiences can shape children for the rest of their lives. OCFS is committed to supporting the creation of additional child care programs where families need them the most and for families with special needs.”

The funding awards include:

RegionTotal AwardsNumber of Awardees
Capital Region$ 1,719,00038
Central NY$ 1,349,00024
Finger Lakes$ 2,605,00050
Mohawk Valley$ 644,00010
North Country$ 779,50018
Southern Tier$ 620,50012
Western NY$ 4,186,00053
Long Island$ 1,974,00017
Mid-Hudson$ 2,920,50026
New York City$ 12,688,500170
Total$ 29,486,000418

“For many working families, affordable child care is out of reach, and the pandemic made it worse, which made it harder to go back to work. That is why I passed the American Rescue Plan with robust child-care funding,” Senator Chuck Schumer said. “Now, $30 million in federal funding that I secured will go directly to eliminating child care deserts, creating good-paying jobs, and providing real help for struggling parents and children.”

“The ongoing shortage of affordable child care in our state is nothing short of a crisis. We have to do more to support our families and our child care workers. That’s why I’m proud to have fought to pass the American Rescue Plan, legislation that is now delivering nearly $30 million in federal funding to child care providers across New York,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said. “This funding will help parents across our state return to work with the knowledge that their children are in good hands while giving child care workers the resources they need to be successful. I’ll keep working with Governor Hochul to ensure that all New York families have the support they need to thrive.”