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October 2023 is First Month of Child Care Eligibility Expansion, FY24 Budget Raises Eligibility Limit to Federal Maximum for Families in the Program, Costs Capped at 1 Percent Above Poverty Line
Governor’s Budget Provides $7.6 Billion Over Four Years for Child Care
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced significant progress made in expanding access to affordable child care for New York’s hardworking families, through raising the child care eligibility limit to the federal maximum, as well as capping child care costs and increasing allowable absences for families in the Child Care Assistance Program. This move, part of a $7.6 billion child care investment over four years, raises CCAP eligibility from 300 percent of the federal poverty level, $83,250 for a family of four, to 85 percent of the state median income, or $99,250 for a family of four, assisting over 100,000 additional New York families.
“As someone who faced significant challenges in pursuing my career because of the high cost of child care, I understand the strain so many families are feeling,” Governor Hochul said. “Through direct action we are expanding access for parents and caregivers. Families will have greater peace of mind knowing their children will be able to receive safe, high-quality child care when needed.”
Effective October 1, 2023, New York State willfurther expand eligibility for the CCAP, managed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Families participating in the program will have their child care costs limited to 1 percent of the total family income above the poverty line. New York State has additionally increased the number of allowable annual absences from 24 to 80 days in an effort to standardize child care assistance across the local districts.
Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Suzanne Miles-Gustave said, “Committing to historic child care funding is one thing, but investing in concrete assistance and programs where it can make the greatest impact to meet the immediate needs of New Yorkers, is another. I am grateful to Governor Hochul for understanding how critical it is to reimagine our child care system and shape it into one that is based in true equity, which will lead to greater access and affordability. It’s what New York’s hardworking families deserve and OCFS is proud to be overseeing this transformation.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Investing in New York’s Child Care Assistance Program helps ensure that there is accessible and affordable child care for hardworking families. This critical investment will ensure that more families have expanded access to quality child care services they need. I am proud to support Governor Hochul’s commitment to make affordable and accessible child care a reality for more families across New York State.”
State Senator Jabari Brisport said, “With federal funds for child care set to end, we are at risk of entering a whole new level of crisis. It’s my hope that these subsidies we won last spring can keep the child care sector on life support long enough for New York to fully address the crisis in our upcoming state budget. No family should struggle to find and afford child care, and no child care worker should struggle to survive."
Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi said, "I am incredibly proud of the investments New York State has made which will expand affordable child care to families by capping copays at 1% and increasing subsidy eligibility to 85% of the state’s median income. Thank you to Speaker Heastie, Governor Hochul, and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for their steadfast leadership and making these improvements to our Child Care Assistance Program a reality.”
The Governor remains committed to expanding affordable, reliable child care across New York State. The Enacted FY 2024 Budget created the Workforce Retention Grant Program making $500 million in underutilized federal funds available as grants for eligible child care programs; a new $25 million Employer Child Care Tax Credit will be available to businesses over the next two years to create new child care seats, and expand existing options, for workers; and the state has made an additional a $4.8 million investment in a new Employer-Sponsored Child Care Pilot Program. 
The Governor also recently announced that more than 48,000 New York State military families can now receive child care fee assistance that covers 15,000 state-licensed child care providers. The military fee assistance will offset the cost of child care not covered by the parent fee as calculated by their total family income up to a maximum child care rate of $1800 per month per child.