The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) recently announced that $70 million in grant funding is available to new licensed, registered or permitted child care programs in areas of the state with the least supply, known as child care deserts. The funds, which are part of a $100 million child care initiative approved in the 2021 Enacted Budget, are being made available through the American Rescue Plan Act and will be administered by OCFS.
The application portal will open in April, but providers should familiarize themselves with the process now, as some requirements must be met beforehand. Keep reading for important details.
The grants will support new child care providers in creating their child care program and in recruiting, retaining and training staff to meet workforce demands. Grant recipients can also use the funding to support start-up expenses, personnel costs, general child care business expenses and staff expenses in accessing COVID-19 vaccines. Additional details on eligibility and requirements of the grant can be found in the Request for Applications.
Applicants must have submitted their request for an application for license before grant application submission. All applicants must complete the OCFS or the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) online orientation before applying at https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare/providers/cdc-orientation.php. Once the orientation is completed, applicants can request a licensing application. Please visit the OCFS website here for more information and to apply for the grant.
Programs applying to become a NYCDOHMH Article 47 day care center must attend a pre-permit orientation before applying for a new permit (check the box next to “Group Child Care and Summer Camp Orientation Sessions,” then click “Continue” at the bottom of the page).
Applicants needing assistance with starting child care programs can contact the Westchester Regional Officer of OCFS at 845-708-2400, or call the Child Care Council at 914-761-3456.