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The New York State Office of Children and Family Services provides a range of resources to help parents with their child care needs, people who want to start or are currently running child care programs, and anyone with a concern about the health or safety of a child in a day care program.

Updates and Important Announcements

Emergency Child Care Employment Guidance

As a result of Executive Orders recently issued by Governor Cuomo as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, OCFS has been granted the authority to waive certain requirements so that child care programs can onboard employees more quickly.

Download related forms:

Webinar Video Available

Child Care Providers and Federal Assistance: Small Business Administration Loans and Loan Forgiveness

Tom Copeland’s Small Business Administration Opportunities and Economic Relief for Child Care Providers webinar recorded on April 8, 2020 is available for viewing.

Go to the video of the webinar.

To save bandwidth please download the video before viewing. Some people may not be able to view the video in their browser and will have to download it to watch.

Download directions:

  1. On the video page, select the gray download icon to the right of the video title.
  2. If asked, approve the download.
  3. Wait for the download to complete.
  4. To watch the video double-click the download completion notice in the browser or navigate to the downloaded file to watch.

Note: The video has a notice at the beginning about "no content." This will be replaced by the presentation a few seconds in.

Surveys on Child Care Program Openings and Parent Need

Survey on Child Care Program Openings

OCFS is collecting information from licensed and registered child care providers to find out whether they have openings in their child care program, and if they have the capacity and desire to serve more children than their established capacity. Providers who have slots available in their program are asked to complete this survey every Wednesday. OCFS will share this information with stakeholders including the local child care resource and referral agencies to help connect parents in need of child care with available slots in their community.

Parent Need for Care Survey

If you are a parent or caregiver who needs child care, please complete this parent need for child care survey. Based on the information you provide about your job, employer, number of children, and financial need, OCFS may be able to help you find the child program you need. It may be a challenge to find child care due to COVID-19 related program closures, however the staff at OCFS are trying their best to support families to find the high quality child care that they need.

National Diaper Bank for Parents to Access Diapers During this Challenging Time

If you or someone you know needs diapers, there may be assistance in your community.

To find out if an agency in your area provides diaper assistance to families in need, please call 2-1-1 on your phone or search online at 2-1-1.org. Specialist are available 24/7 to help identify local resources that may be able to help provide diapers and other basic necessities.

For more information wisit the National Diaper Bank.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

As you are aware, a coronavirus called 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first found in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This virus had not previously been detected in humans. It can lead to fever, cough and trouble breathing or shortness of breath. There are thousands of diagnosed cases in China and cases being diagnosed in other countries including the United States. And, the virus has been confirmed in New York State.

Child Care Subsidy Information

Child Care Subsidy Information in Regard to COVID-19

Effective immediately, local social services districts can expand the child care services they provide to families affected by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Districts may select from the following options:

  • extend the eligibility period,
  • expand the definition of a child needing protective services,
  • expand the number of allowable absences,
  • expand the number of program closures,
  • extend eligibility up to 85% of the state median income level,
  • waive family shares, and
  • make other requests related to eligibility and/or administration of the child care subsidy program.

A letter to Commissioners and the waiver request form are provided below.

Download the waiver request letter as Word wainver request letter from March 16, 2020 and PDF waiver request letter from March 16, 2020.

Download the waiver request form as Word wainver request form from March 16, 2020 and PDF waiver request form from March 16, 2020.

Download the March 18, 2020 FAQ in Word.

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 FAQ for Local Districts

OCFS has been receiving questions from local social services districts regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the administration of the child care subsidy program. This FAQ for Local Districts provides answers to some of the frequently asked questions.

COVID-19 FAQ for Day Care Providers

As part of our commitment to sharing information with child care programs regarding the challenges they are experiencing related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), OCFS has compiled answers to questions we have been receiving from the child care community.

Guidance Documents

20-OCFS-INF-09 - COVID-19 Guidance to Child Care Providers

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to reiterate certain important information for child care providers necessary for them to continue operations during the current public health emergency.

Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection for Congregate Settings for COVID-19

The Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection directions are available as Word document for March 6, 2020 interim guidance and PDF document for March 6, 2020 interim guidance.

Guidance Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) continues to study and respond to the spread and effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

Download the latest guidance regarding the use of cloth face coverings.

20-OCFS-INF-08 - COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Providers

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to reiterate certain important information for child care providers necessary for them to continue operations during the current public health emergency.

Download 20-OCFS-INF-08.

Download related forms:

Dear Provider Letters

Dear Provider Letters Regarding COVID-19

Call for Child Care Workers

OCFS is seeking assistance from licensed and registered child care programs and their employees. Child care workers who are temporarily out of work due to COVID-19 related program closures may be able to help fill vital roles at other child care programs.

If you are interested in helping support your community by helping to keep local child care programs operating-especially to care for children of health care and other critical workers, please complete this Survey for Current Child Care Workers. Your responses will be shared with local child care programs that are in need of staff.

Attention: Child Care Providers

There is no State directive to close child care programs at this time. OCFS is working on creative ways to help expand child care capacity in a safe way across the state. As a reminder, licensed programs are responsible for reporting to OCFS if they are voluntarily closing.

In certain circumstances, local authorities have the authority to direct programs to close under quarantine or other emergency orders.

Your license capacity remains in effect unless you’ve been approved for a waiver by OCFS. We encourage you to consider the ability to care for children who are not attending school but whose parents must continue to work. There may be ways for you to serve a greater number of children while continuing to prioritize their health and safety and that of your employees. To the extent practicable, consider ways to manage your program to limit group sizes and interactions between groups in line with the Centers for Disease Control guidance.

Comprehensive Background Clearance Information

New Emergency Regulations

OCFS has issued new emergency regulations that make changes to the rules for comprehensive background checks to ease the burden on programs and parents. These new regulations went into effect on February 7, 2020 and are open for public comment until April 7, 2020. You can find them here: ocfs.ny.gov/main/legal/Regulatory/er/.

Policy Directives

Frequently Asked Questions - Update February 11, 2020

QUALITYstarsNY

Quality Stars

QUALITYstarsNY is New York State's quality rating and improvement system. It is a voluntary program to rate, improve and communicate levels of quality in all regulated early care and learning programs. Read more about the important QUALITYstarsNY initiative.