Workforce Retention Grant

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Workforce Retention Grant: Additional Grant Award (2024)

OCFS has announced an additional award to all current grant recipients who are in good standing and have met and continue to meet the grant requirements. Programs that meet the requirements are eligible for an additional grant award for both components A and B.

Please review the following for additional information:

Workforce Retention Grant expense reports are now available.

Please note, the first expense report will be available 90 days from your final payment.

Do you need assistance completing your Workforce Retention Grant Expense Report?

Join a Workforce Retention Grant Expense assistance session to learn more!

Workforce Retention Grant Expense Assistance Sessions by Region


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
Additional Workforce Retention Grant awards announced: 05/06/2024
Date all Funds must be spent: 09/01/2024

Promotional Flyers

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.”

    As stated in the Section XV of this SOI, OCFS reserves the right to reallocate unspent funds to make additional awards.

    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

    Staff Roster Errors

    The deadline to report staff roster errors was November 2, 2023. If your program reported the staff roster error prior to the deadline, OCFS will contact you by email with the outcome.

    Staff roster errors will not be accepted for the additional award.

    If you have payment related questions, please contact your local CCR&R

    Grant Application Resources for Providers

    Expense Report Resources

    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:

    1099 Information

    1099s for 2023 were sent to providers in January 2024. Please be sure to check your physical mailbox for your 1099.

    Common 1099 Questions

    What is the 1099 form used for?

    The 1099-MISC form is used to report income other than wages, salaries, tips and other employee compensation and it is different than the income on a W-2 form.

    What should I do if I haven’t gotten my 1099 in the mail?

    Make sure you know which address your 1099 was mailed to. The 1099 will be sent to the mailing address listed in the Grant Portal. If you were paid by SFS, a copy of the 1099 will appear in your SFS account portal. If you still need help finding the mailing address the 1099 was sent to, please reach out to your CCR&R.

    Who should I contact If I have issues with my 1099 or need corrections?

    Reach out to your CCR&R with questions about your 1099 or if changes need to be made.

    It is important to review the 1099 forms as soon as possible, because if there are errors it may take some time to have the issue resolved.

    If I was paid through SFS, how can I view my 1099 and determine what payments are included?

    You can view your 1099 and determine which payments were included on your 1099 by accessing your SFS account.

    If I received more than one grant (Stabilization, Deserts, and/or Workforce Retention) will I receive more than one 1099?

    No, the 1099 will come with all funds issued to that tax ID number on one 1099.

    The exception to this would be if you received payment as both a single pay vendor as well as through their SFS account. In that case, yes, you will receive more than one 1099s.

    Documentation Tracking Forms

    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.

    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).