05.05.21

WITH HUNDREDS OF ROCHESTER-AREA DAYCARES SHUTTERED BY COVID & RAPID INCREASE IN DEMAND FOR CHILDCARE AS NY OPENS BACK UP, SCHUMER REVEALS: MORE THAN $1.8 BILLION ON-THE-WAY TO NEW YORK TO HELP PROVIDERS MEET NEW NEEDS; NEW FUNDS WILL PROVIDE REAL HELP TO FINGER LAKE FAMILIES

Rochester-Finger Lakes Child Care Is CRITICAL To Full Re-Opening; Schumer Says Funds From American Rescue Plan Are Now On Way To Support & Even Expand Critical Child Care Services; In Monroe County Alone 102 Home or Center-based Childcare Centers Closed During Pandemic 

Finger Lakes’ Child Care Sector Will See Sizable Portion Of More Than $1.8 Billion In Direct Child Care Relief Funds & Can Submit Soon To State to Access Funds; Funds Will Mean Finger Lakes Children, Families, Essential Workers & Early Educators Can Get Past Pandemic & That This Sector Can Be Part Of Larger Economic Recovery 

Schumer: Child Care Fed Funds Cannot Come Soon Enough For Finger Lakes Families Or Job Sector   

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer stood at Candy Apple Children’s Center in Wayne County to announced that more than $1.8 billion from the American Rescue Plan he guided through the Senate is on the way to New York, with a sizable portion coming directly to the Finger Lakes region, to help child care providers and employers – and parents – meet new and ongoing needs amid the pandemic. Schumer said after COVID-19 forced the closure of hundreds of Rochester and Finger Lakes area daycare facilities greatly increasing demands for child care, the funds on the way will provide critical relief and real help for childcare operators to re-open and for local families to secure care for their children. 

“Since the start of this pandemic, day care and child care center advocates in the Finger Lakes have been sounding the alarm that these places are critical to our reopening and need help to survive,” said Senator Schumer. “Today, I can report that this critical relief is on the way. These new funds will provide real help for families, children and even job-seekers.”

Schumer explained that, now, local providers can keep their staff employed, reinstate staff that was laid off, and ultimately, ensure child care for many families who greatly depend on Finger Lakes child care services. Some sites can even consider expanding to serve more area children and families because they will have these funds in hand. Schumer said the Finger Lakes region is slated to get a sizable portion of the $1.8 billion dollars and that eligible parents will receive child care subsidies, including essential workers. Local facilities will be able to use these dollars to reimburse for expenses of the past year, too. PPE and other critical supplies that kept facilities open and operating within guidelines will also be eligible expenses, Schumer explained.

Schumer explained 12 childcare operators closed in Wayne County due to the pandemic, while in Monroe County 102 childcare operators were forced to close including 8 childcare centers, 78 home-based Family & Group Childcares, and 16 school-aged care operators.   Candy Apple Children’s Center (CACC) in Newark, NY has been providing childcare for Wayne County families for over 38 years and typically served 75 children before the pandemic hit reducing their enrollment to 25.  Currently enrollment is up to 45, and while CACC was able to receive two federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to keep their doors open during the pandemic despite the reduced enrollment and revenue, CACC and hundreds of centers like it across the Finger Lakes are confronting the need to increase capacity despite precarious financial footings.  Schumer said the funding he announced today will help bridge these facilities and the families that depend on them to emerge successfully through the pandemic.

In detailing the funds on the way to New York and the Finger Lakes, Schumer explained they will be delivered to the state in two parts: 1) the Childcare Stabilization Fund -- $1.1B to New York, and 2) the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) -- $705M to New York.

Under the Childcare Stabilization Fund, New York will use the federal funds to award subgrants to licensed and regulated child care providers in the Finger Lakes that are either open or have been temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Qualified child care providers receive subgrants based on their current operating expenses, including costs associated with providing such services during the pandemic. New York must also make the grant application available online. Finger Lakes child care providers can use those funds to cover personnel costs, rent and mortgage payments, PPE, sanitation, training and professional development related to health and safety, mental health services for children and staff, and other operational expenses. As a condition of the funds, child care providers receiving these funds must keep their payrolls intact (provide full compensation to its employees) and to the extent possible, provide copayment and tuition relief to families they serve.

Under the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), New York has a lot of flexibility with the dollars. New York can award child care providers based on enrollment of children, rather than attendance. New York can also use the funds to provide child care subsidies to families, including essential workers (health care employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential), regardless of their income. This fund is projected to expand child care subsidies to an estimated 875,000 children nationwide.

“The Finger Lakes region will see a sizable portion of this $1.8 billion in direct child care relief funds,” Schumer added. “This will mean kids, families, essential workers, and early educators can get past this pandemic and that this sector can provide for local jobs, too, making it part of the larger local recovery.”

According to the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) in Washington D.C., “With this funding, the child care sector—which has already lost one in six jobs during the pandemic — will be poised to be part of the nation’s economic recovery. These critical direct investments are how we begin to bring the child care sector back from the brink, yet it will take additional significant investments to undo the damage of long-standing under-investments and build back a better, more equitable, accessible, and affordable system that meets the needs of children, families, and early educators.”

Dr. Ellen Wayne, Wayne County Commissioner of Social Service said, “Unlike in urban areas where families may have more childcare opportunities, for rural regions like Wayne County it’s even more vital that we help providers to re-open, stay open or afford the social distancing and PPE required to keep childcare capacity available.  That’s why we appreciate Senator Schumer’s work to secure this crucial childcare funding to help both our childcare providers and parents afford to maintain childcare throughout and after the pandemic.”

“This aid can help the YMCA of Greater Rochester, and organizations like the Y, support families who are looking for assistance financially to meet their childcare needs, and close the operational gaps that were created in a downturn of attendance and revenue,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, Chief Operating Officer for the YMCA of Greater Rochester. “Thank you, Senator Schumer, for making this, and the Paycheck Protection Program, available to the YMCA and all the families who rely on our service.”

Kelly McDonald, Wayne County Branch Coordinator for Child Care Council said, “Childcare providers play an essential role in our communities and they keep American families working. It is imperative that they receive the resources and support they need after being impacted by the pandemic. When a program must close it not only affects the provider but also the children, families and the employers that rely on them to be at work daily. We at the Child Care Council applaud Senator Schumer for his efforts to secure much-needed funding that will enable childcare programs to continue to provide outstanding care for our children and support for our region’s families.”

Schumer also highlighted several other ways the American Rescue Plan will help Wayne County:

  • Direct Payments: Approximately $104M in $1,400 checks for an estimated 41,500 households in Wayne County.
  • Child Tax Credit: Approximately $32.5M in CTC payments for families
  • Local Governments: More than $27M for Wayne County governments, including over $17M for Wayne County and over $9M for towns and villages
  • Education: $22.4M for Wayne County School Districts and $971,000 for Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES

Wayne County will also receive a sizable portion of the following funds:

  • New Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement and Testing: $4B for New York
  • Emergency Rental & Homelessness Assistance: $1B for New York
  • Nutrition assistance: $1.07B for New York
  • Earned Income Tax Credit: $786M for New York
  • Broadband Connectivity: $632M for New York
  • Airports: $418M for New York
  • Head Start: $59M for New York
  • Rural Transit: $12M for New York
  • Small Business, Restaurant, and Live Venue Relief$57.8B nationwide
  • Agriculture & Farmer support: $4B nationwide
  • Rural Hospital Assistance: $8.5B nationwide
  • Medicaid FMAP Increase$2.7B for NY ($2.1 billion already delivered from Schumer pushing President Biden to extend through the end of the calendar year, in addition to approximately 600 million from a targeted enhanced FMAP for home and community-based services from this legislation)

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