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Gov. Hochul announces child care desert grant awardees received nearly $70 million

$70 million in federal grant funding went to newly licensed, registered or permitted child care programs in child care deserts throughout the state.

NEW YORK — On Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced total federal grant funding awarded to new child care facilities throughout the state located in child care deserts.

A total of $70 million was distributed state-wide to newly licensed, registered or permitted child care programs located in child care deserts. The funds are part of $100 million funding approved in the 2022 fiscal year budget that was made available through the American Rescue Plan Act. The funding is administered by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

"Expanding child care options for working families is personal to me. As a young mom, I had to leave my job due to lack of access to affordable child care," Hochul said. "I want to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and the Congressional delegation for helping secure this critical funding. New York remains committed to eradicating child care deserts, and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure all parents have access to this vital lifeline."

The grants will go towards covering start-up costs, recruit, train and retain staff.

The Western New York region received more than $4 for 27 different awardees.

"Insufficient child care resources have a tremendous effect on our economy, keeping parents from returning to work," Lieutenant Gov. Antonio Delgado said. "It is critical for us to improve care, especially in underserved areas where parents have to struggle with the painful and unacceptable choices of whether to keep their jobs and leave their young children home alone with no care at all or quit their jobs and not be able to feed their children and keep a roof over their heads."

For the funding, a child care desert was defined as census tract where there are three or more children under 5 for each available child care slot. Based on this criteria, more than 60% of the state is considered a child care desert, according to Hochul's office.

Additionally, to help with the cost of child care, Hochul highlighted legislation that will make diapers for adults and children exempt from all sales and use taxes. 

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