Workforce Retention Grant

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New Information

The first Workforce Retention Grant expense report is coming soon! Join a Workforce Retention Grant expense report informational session to learn more about completing your Workforce Retention Grant expense report!


On May 31, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a $500 million investment in the FY 2024 budget to bolster New York’s child care workforce through the Workforce Retention Grant program. Funding from the program will support up to 150,000 child care workers with bonus payments ranging from $2,300 to $3,000 to staff in caregiving roles, as well as funding to support child care programs’ efforts to recruit new staff, offer sign-on and referral bonuses, and more.

The Workforce Retention Grant program is for eligible New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) licensed/registered school-age child care programs (SACC), day care centers (DCC), family day care homes (FDC), group family day care homes (GFDC), small day care centers (SDCC) and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) permitted Article 47 group day care centers (GDC).

View the Governor's Announcement

Statement of Grant Opportunity

Important Dates

Event Date
Application Portal opens: 07/26/2023
Application closes: 09/15/2023
Deadline to Report Errors to the Staff Roster: 10/30/2023

Workforce Retention Grant Approved Applications

The NYS Workforce Retention Grant Program has approved 12,567 applications and awarded an estimated $309,402,754 to eligible providers as of November 16th, 2023.

Download the full list of NYS Workforce Retention Grant Programs Approved Applications – as of November 16, 2023

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Grant Information

The Workforce Retention Grant is one grant, comprised of two components. Only eligible child care programs can apply for the grant. Individual staff cannot apply.

Applicants who are awarded will receive both components and must comply with all grant terms and eligible expense types for each component. The two components of the grant are:

Component A: Staff Retention Bonuses:
Eligible programs must request grant funds on behalf of each currently employed eligible staff. Each eligible staff must be included on the application. The entirety (100%) of the staff retention bonus amount must be passed on to each staff person, if they remain eligible at the time of payment to the program.
Component B: Staff Recruitment Expenses and Payroll Tax Assistance:
  • Eligible programs must request funds to pay for expenses related to recruiting and hiring new staff.
  • Recruitment funds may also be used to pay longevity bonuses to existing staff who have been with the program six months or more.
  • Eligible child care programs will also receive funds toward the employer portion of payroll taxes incurred while issuing bonus payments to their staff or recruitment expenses paid.
  • To assist in accomplishing the goal of this grant, the NYS 2023-2024 enacted budget included language stating that bonuses received through this grant “shall be exempt and disregarded as income in determining the need for aid provided pursuant to the public assistance programs.”

    General Requirements

    To receive Workforce Retention Grant payments, providers must apply during the application period and be able to confirm all the following eligibility criteria:

    * SACC programs will be eligible if not operating due to a planned school break as long as they anticipate serving at least one child on the first full week of school instruction (but no later than 9/20/23) and have at least one current staff that will resume their position.

    Staff Eligibility Requirements

    In order to receive a staff retention bonus, staff must meet all the requirements at the time the program submits an application and at the time the grant is paid. Staff must also:

    For more information on staff requirements, be sure to read the full Statement of Grant Opportunity (Spanish/Español Statement of Grant Opportunity).
    Requirements Eligible
    Work an average of 15 hours per week (10 hours for SACC staff) yes
    Work in a child caring role yes
    Have been fingerprinted and provisionally background checked by June 26, 2023 yes
    Appear in their program’s active staff roster in FAMs or CCATS by June 26, 2023 yes

    How to Correct an Error on Your Staff Roster

    When completing the application, if there is an error on your staff roster, please follow the steps below:

    1. Submit your Workforce Retention Grant application now so that your program is not in jeopardy of missing the application deadline. The application deadline is September 15, 2023.
    2. Reach out to your local Child Care Resource and Referral program (CCR&R) to inform them of the error on the staff roster. The CCR&R will assist you in determining if the staff meets the basic eligibility requirements. Here is a list of local CCR&R agencies and contacts.
      1. Have the following information ready for any staff you think is eligible but was not on the staff roster:
        1. Staff name.
        2. Staff date of birth.
        3. Number of hours the staff member has worked. (Needed to determine if the staffer meets the number of hours as outlined in the SOI and in the eligibility requirements above.)
        4. Role of the staffer at the program.
        5. Dates of staff CBC clearances including when they were fingerprinted and completed the background check information. (If you do not have this information, you can reach out to your licensure agency.)
        6. Program name.
        7. License/ Registration/ Permit number of your program.

      Please Note: The deadline to report errors to the staff roster is October 30, 2023

    3. The CCR&R will report the error to the Office of Children and Family Services and a determination will be made. If the staff person is added to your application, they will also be added as a bonus payment on your next disbursement. This process will take between 1-2 weeks for resolution. When a staff member is added, you will see them on your application portals staff list. You will also receive a notification from the Office of Children and Family Services once the issue has been resolved.

    Grant Application Resources for Providers

    Staff Eligibility Calculators

    Use the Staff Eligibility Calculator to determine which of your staff members may be eligible for a Workforce Retention bonus. Download the appropriate form for your modality. Enter the name of each staff member who works in a child caring role and the hours they worked each week from January 1, 2023 (or the start of their employment) to June 26, 2023 and scroll to column AD to see their eligibility status. For best results, open the eligibility calculator in full screen mode.

    Application Assistance Resources

    Webinars and Recordings

    Payment Resources

    All payments will be made through the New York Statewide Financial System (SFS). Providers who already have an SFS vendor ID must enter the ID during the application process, in order to receive payment. Information on SFS can be found here:

    Documentation Tracking Forms

    Additional Information for Providers

    I am a home-based provider and I don’t have any staff. Am I still eligible for a staff retention bonus?
    Yes, you may be eligible to pay yourself a bonus, even if you are the only one working for your program. Your program must meet all program eligibility requirements, and you as the staff person must meet all staff eligibility requirements in order to receive a bonus.
    What can I use the staff recruitment funds for?
    Allowable uses for staff recruitment grant funds include, but are not limited to:
    • Provide recruitment sign-on bonuses for new staff who began after June 26, 2023 and are not eligible for the workforce retention grant payments.
    • Provide bonuses for staff who are otherwise not eligible for the retention bonus.
    • Provide referral incentives for existing staff who recruit new staff.
    • Pay for advertisement and marketing costs for staff vacancies.
    • Pay for recently hired (since June 26, 2023) staff benefit package costs (such as healthcare, paid time off, 401K).
    • Pay for or reimburse costs for recently hired (since June 26, 2023) staff medical, criminal and child abuse clearances.
    • Pay for staffing or “headhunter” services.
    • Pay a bonus for staff in a non-caregiving role who are recruited to a caregiving role.
    • Pay a bonus for part-time staff who transition to a full-time role.
    • Supplementing a retention payment to include a longevity bonus for existing staff who have been with the program six months or more.

    Workforce Retention Grant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Providers (Spanish/Español FAQ)

    Grant Application Resources for Staff

    Additional Information for Staff

    I work for two different child care programs. Which one will I get my retention bonus from?
    Eligible staff who work in multiple child care programs operated by a single organization will only be included on one application. It is the responsibility of the legal entity/organization to determine which program will include these staff on their application. Talk to your employer to find out which program included you on their application.
    How much will my staff retention bonus be?
    Bonuses range from $2,300 - $3,000 before payroll taxes, depending on modality.

    Workforce Retention Grant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Staff (Spanish/Español FAQ)

    Workforce Retention Grant Help Line

    Contact us by phone:
    Workforce Retention Grant Help Line: 833-791-2743
    M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Workforce Retention Grant Assistance

    For additional information about the Workforce Retention Grant please reach out to your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R).