NYS will utilize $30M of federal CARES act assistance to help with child care expenses for essential workers. Farm employees and food processors are considered essential workers.
As of 3/20/2020 licensed child care businesses in New York State are considered essential services and allowed to operate. NYS announced on 4/24/2020 that child care scholarships will be available for child care expenses for essential workers; which includes food processing and farm employees. Scholarships are being paid for from $30M in federal CARES Act funding received by NYS, and are open to families who are at 300% or less of the federal poverty level – or $78,600 or less for a family of four. Link to the CARES Child Care Scholarship Parent Application.
The Office of Children and Family Services provides guidance to New York State licensed child care centers during the COVID-19 crisis. While child care centers are being given flexibility to add spots for child care for essential workers, facilities are also being mindful of social distancing guidance. The Office of Children and Family Services maintains a listing of licensed day care providers to search for child care options although not all of the providers may be open during this current time. In certain regions, local YMCA’s have been expanding child care options for local essential workers and may be an option to explore. The ABCD program, which serves as a primary resource for the children of farm employee and food system employees, is currently closed and will re-evaluate its status regularly so please call local Centers for availability.