Child Care Day of Action Leads to Release of CARES Act Funding

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Lupardo Calls for Next Round to Be Allocated without Restrictions

Following a day of advocacy across the state, the Governor’s Office has released CARES Act funding to support the reopening and expansion of child care programming throughout New York. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo helped organize a statewide Child Care Day of Action last Thursday which included public events in eleven different communities across New York. Legislators and advocates joined together to call for the second round of CARES Act (CARES II) child care funding to be awarded to programs that had applied. The next day, $50 million was released. Now, elected officials are calling for the final round to be released without restrictions.

“We appreciate the Governor’s Office listening to our unified message that child care is essential,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “As New York recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to ensure that child care is accessible and affordable for working parents. In order to do that, we need to make sure the last round of CARES funding is allocated without burdensome restrictions that make it difficult for providers to access the money. Programs have been there for us throughout the entire pandemic and need our help now; let’s make it as easy on them as possible.”

Lupardo and several Assembly colleagues sent a letter to the Governor Wednesday thanking his office for moving quickly to release CARES II funds. The letter also urged action on the final round of CARES child care funding (CARES III), $69 million, without restrictions. According to the letter from legislators, the CARES II grant process included excessive paperwork and documentation that made it difficult for providers to actually receive funding. Lawmakers are calling for these requirements to be lifted so programs can access grants immediately.

In addition to operating grants, CARES III also includes scholarships for essential workers who need assistance paying for child care and rent assistance for programs who have been forced to relocate because of the pandemic. The latest letter to the Governor asks that scholarships be available to any essential worker living at 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Currently, the eligibility threshold is set at 300% FPL.