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Featured Announcements

Dear Provider Letter — Comprehensive Background Check

Dear Provider,

This letter provides information on existing regulatory requirements related to the Comprehensive Background Check requirement for Non-relative Informal and Group Legally Exempt Child Care providers, and the process for renewal at the 5 year point.

COVID-19 Reporting Requirements

Dear Provider:

OCFS has received several questions regarding COVID-19 and communicable disease reporting. This letter is being sent to clarify current requirements. Required forms are attached for ease of reference. Please read this information carefully and reach out to your regulator with any questions. Thank you.

Estimado proveedor de cuidado infantil:

La Oficina de Servicios para Niños y Familias (OCFS, por sus siglas en inglés) ha recibido varias preguntas sobre COVID-19 y notificaciones sobre enfermedades transmisibles. Esta carta se envía para aclarar los requisitos actuales. Si tiene alguna pregunta, comuníquese con su regulador. Gracias.

Health Advisory — High Blood Lead Levels in Children Consuming Recalled Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and State Health Department urge consumers to heed FDE and CDC warning regarding lead in certain apple puree and applesauce products.

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has information about the warning posted on their website.

Additional information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

You can also download a pdf copy of the advisory here.

Dear Provider Letter — 2023 Market Rate Survey for Child Care

Dear Provider,

Every few years, the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) conducts a survey of the price of child care across the state of New York. This information is very important. It helps us to update payment rates for the Child Care Assistance Program (formerly known as child care subsidy program), so they reflect local prices.

This September, the Market Rate Survey Team will be sending all providers an electronic survey invitation by email that contains a link to the 2023 Child Care Market Rate Survey. The email will be coming from the sender and have the subject line, 2023 Child Care Market Rate Survey Invitation. Please read this letter carefully. Thank you!

Estimado proveedor de cuidado infantil,

Cada ciertos años, la Oficina de Servicios para Niños y Familias del Estado de Nueva York (New York State Office of Children and Family Services, OCFS) dirige una encuesta sobre el precio del cuidado infantil en todo el estado de Nueva York. Esta información es muy importante. Nos ayuda a actualizar las tarifas de pago del Programa de asistencia para cuidado infantil (antes conocido como programa de subsidios para el cuidado infantil), para que se ajusten a los precios locales.

Este mes de septiembre, el equipo de la Encuesta de tarifas del mercado enviará a todos los proveedores una invitación a la encuesta electrónica por correo electrónico que contiene un enlace a la Encuesta de tarifas del mercado de cuidado infantil 2023. El correo electrónico será del remitente y en el asunto será, 2023 Child Care Market Rate Survey Invitation. Lea esta carta detenidamente. Gracias.

CPSC Announces a Recall of Canvas Baby Hammock Swing

On June 29, 2023, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall of Canvas Baby Hammock Swing. The inclined sleeper is a banned hazardous product under the Safe Sleep for Babies Act since the product was marketed for infant sleep and has an incline angle greater than 10 degrees. Infant fatalities have occurred in inclined sleepers after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.

Announcing Valuable Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIA) Resources!

OCFS has created a DEIA Toolkit to support child care programs and families.

The Toolkit includes materials, available in a variety of languages, to intentionally weave DEIA into your child care community.

The Toolkit includes:

  • Self-assessment activity
  • Best programming practices tip sheet
  • ‘Ways to Celebrate Diversity’ flyer
  • Materials lists and ideas for recommended learning areas
  • Book list for children

Check out the DEIA Toolkit.

Dear Provider Letter – ECETP Data Transfer

Dear Provider,
This letter contains important information about how the Early Childhood Education and Training Program (ECETP) training certificates are tracked and shared. These updates have an impact on your child care program so please read this letter carefully.
Thank you.

Estimado proveedor de cuidado infantil,
Esta carta contiene información importante sobre cómo se rastrean y comparten los certificados de capacitación del Programa de Educación y Capacitación para la Primera Infancia (Early Childhood Education and Training Program, ECETP). Estas actualizaciones tienen un impacto en su programa de cuidado infantil, así que lea esta carta detenidamente.

Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper Recalled
Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper

On January 9, 2023, Fisher-Price re-announced the recall of Rock ‘n Play Sleepers after approximately 100 infant deaths were reported. The product was initially recalled in 2019 after 30 infants were reported to have died in the sleeper, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 70 more deaths were reported since the initial recall. The reported deaths occurred when the babies rolled from their back to their stomach or side when not restrained. More details at the CPSC website.

Name of Product:
All models of Rock ‘n Play Sleepers

Infant fatalities have occurred in the Rock ‘n Play Sleepers, after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.

Recall Date:
January 09, 2023

Consumers should stop using the Rock ‘n Play immediately and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or voucher. It is illegal to sell or distribute the recalled sleepers.

Sold At:
Major stores nationwide including Walmart, Target, and online at Amazon from September 2009 through April 2019 for between $40 and $149.

Dear Provider Letter – New Comprehensive Background Check Requirements

Dear Provider,
This letter contains important information and updates about comprehensive background checks that may impact your child care program. Please read it carefully.
Thank you.

Estimado proveedor de cuidado infantil,
Esta carta contiene información importante y actualizaciones sobre verificaciones integrales de antecedentes que pueden afectar su programa de cuidado infantil. Por favor, léala detenidamente.

CPSC Announces a Sippy Cup Recall

On November 23, 2022, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall of Green Sprouts Stainless Steel Straw Bottles, Sippy Cups, and Sip & Straw Cups. The bottom base of the recalled stainless-steel bottles and cups can break off, exposing a solder dot that contains lead and posing a lead-poisoning hazard to the child.

Please notify the families you serve of this recall.

La CPSC anuncia retiro del mercado de vasos de sorber para bebés

El 23 de noviembre de 2022, la Comisión de Seguridad de Productos del Consumidor (CPSC, sigla en inglés) emitió un retiro del mercado (en inglés) de botellas/biberones, vasos de sorber y vasos con sorbete/pajilla de Green Sprouts. La base inferior de las botellas y lose vasos de acero inoxidable que se han retirado del mercado pueden romperse, exponer un punto de soldadura que contiene plomo y representar un peligro de envenenamiento por plomo para el niño.

Por favor, notifique a las familias a las que provee servicios sobre este retiro del mercado.

Child Care Staff Recruitment Webinar

Dear Provider:

Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 6th and join OCFS and the New York State Department of Labor for a FREE webinar focused on recruiting staff. Come and learn more about available tools for child care programs to assist in finding qualified staff. The national workforce crisis in child care has created an urgency to utilize new methods to reach qualified candidates, and NYS DOL can help. Please read the attached flyer for further details and to register.

Please note: We are happy to announce a second session has been added.

Thank you.

Estimado proveedor:

Marque su calendario para el martes 6 de diciembre y únase a la Oficina de Servicios para Niños y Familias y al Departamento de Trabajo del Estado de Nueva York (DOL) para un seminario web GRATUITO centrado en la contratación de personal. Atienda y aprenda más sobre las herramientas disponibles para los programas de cuidado infantil para ayudar a encontrar personal calificado. La crisis de la fuerza laboral nacional en el campo de cuidado infantil ha creado una urgencia para utilizar nuevos métodos para llegar a candidatos calificados, y DOL puede ayudar. Lea el folleto adjunto para obtener más detalles y para registrarse.

Estamos felices de anunciar que se ha agregado una segunda sesión.


Dear Provider Letter - Cold Weather and Respiratory Illnesses

As the cold weather creeps in, cases of respiratory viruses creep up. Respiratory virus infections such as COVID-19, seasonal influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can be dangerous in young children. To help keep New Yorkers healthy, Governor Hochul recently launched a public awareness campaign warning of the triple threat posed by these respiratory illnesses. The campaign includes resources and videos outlining the steps to take to protect yourself and your family. View the video clips. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) released a Health Advisory Notice in September encouraging the public to remain up to date on vaccines, and to avoid close contact with people who are sick. For the most up to date information on respiratory virus infections visit DOH RSV.

This letter contains important reminders on how to prevent and respond to illness in your child care program. Please take the time to review the regulations regarding health and infection control and your program’s Health Care Plan, and be sure to share all of this information with staff and families.

A medida que se acerca el clima frío, aumentan los casos de virus respiratorios. Las infecciones por virus respiratorios como el COVID-19, la influenza estacional y el virus sincitial respiratorio (VSR) pueden ser peligrosos en los niños pequeños. Para ayudar a mantener saludables a los neoyorquinos, la Gobernadora Hochul lanzó recientemente una campaña de concientización pública advirtiendo sobre la triple amenaza que representan estas enfermedades respiratorias. La campaña incluye recursos y videos que describen los pasos a seguir para protegerle a usted y a su familia. Mira los videos. El Departamento de Salud del Estado de Nueva York (DOH) publicó un Aviso de Salud en septiembre alentando al público a mantenerse al día con las vacunas y evitar el contacto cercano con personas enfermas. Para obtener la información más actualizada sobre infecciones por virus respiratorios, visite el portal: DOH RSV.

Esta carta contiene recordatorios importantes sobre cómo prevenir y responder a las enfermedades en su programa de cuidado infantil. Tómese el tiempo para revisar las normas relacionadas con la salud y el control de infecciones y el Plan de Atención Médica (Health Care Plan) de su programa y asegúrese de compartir toda esta información con el personal y las familias.

Dear Provider Letters - Important Updates About Allergy Awareness

Aug 10 - Epinephrine Injectors - New information to help protect the lives of those without a diagnosed allergy who may experience anaphylaxis while in a child care program.

Jun 9 - Allergy Awareness - In recent months, OCFS has seen a dramatic increase in the number of complaints of children with diagnosed allergies ingesting known allergens while in the child care program.

En los últimos meses, la Oficina de Servicios para Niños y Familias (OCFS) ha visto un aumento dramático de quejas de niños con alergias diagnosticadas que ingieren alérgenos conocidos mientras están en el programa de cuidado infantil.

Dear Provider Letter - Excessive Heat advisory

An advisory reminder to child care providers on issues to keep in mind with regard to excessively-high outdoor temperatures.

Resources for Dealing with Trauma

In the wake of the tragic murders in Buffalo on May 14, 2022, OCFS has compiled resources for child care providers to assist children and families with navigating trauma.

Powdered Infant Formula Recall

FDA warns consumers not to use certain powdered infant formula produced in Abbott Nutrition’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan. Abbott Nutrition is initiating a voluntary recall of certain powder formulas (Similac, Alimentum, and Elecare) manufactured in the Sturgis, Michigan manufacturing facility due to consumer complaints of Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport infections. These complaints are under investigation by the FDA, CDC and state and local partners. Products are included in the recall if they have all three items below:

  • the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and
  • the code on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2, and
  • the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.

For more information on this recall, please visit: FDA Investigation of Cronobacter and Salmonella Complaints: Powdered Infant Formula (February 2022).

Finding Infant Formula Resources

Governor Kathy Hochul announces resources for New York families amid infant formula shortages.

See the announcement on the Governor's news site for more information.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also has information on finding infant formula resources for your family available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Haitian Creole.

For more information, please visit the Health and Human Services web site.

Spanish / Español

La Gobernadora Hochul Anuncia Recursos Para Las Familias De Nueva York En Medio De La Escasez De Fórmula Infantil

El Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos de EE. UU. ahora tiene información sobre cómo encontrar recursos de fórmula infantil para su familia disponibles en inglés, español, vietnamita y criollo haitiano.

Para obtener más información, visite el sitio web de Salud y Servicios Humanos.

Parents: Don’t miss out on the Child Tax Credit

Families who earn up to $440,000 per year are eligible.

Families who

  • filed tax returns in 2019 or 2020 but did not give the IRS direct deposit information,
  • did not file tax returns in either 2019 or 2020

must apply for the credit to which they are entitled.

Sign up for your Child Tax Credit at the Internal Revenue Service web portal.

Spanish / Español

Atención padres

No pierdan la oportunidad de solicitar el Crédito Tributario por Hijos (Child Tax Credit). Las familias que ganan hasta $440,000 al año son elegibles.

Las familias que

  • presentaron declaraciones de impuestos en 2019 o 2020 pero no proporcionaron al Servicio de Impuestos Internos (IRS) información de depósito directo,
  • no presentaron declaraciones de impuestos ni en 2019 ni en 2020 deben inscribirse para recibir los pagos a los que tienen derecho.

Regístrese para obtener su Crédito Tributario por Hijos en el portal web del Servicio de Impuestos Internos: Pagos por adelantado del Crédito tributario por hijos en 2021 | Internal Revenue Service (