CORTLAND, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer was in Cortland on Monday, where he announced that more than $1.8 billion from the American Rescue Plan will be going to child care providers and employers to meet ongoing needs. Schumer said that COVID-19 increased demands for child care, and the funding will help many local families.

“Since the start of this pandemic, day care and child care center advocates in Central New York have been sounding the alarm that these places are critical to our reopening and need help to survive,” said Senator Schumer. “Today, I can report that this critical relief is on the way. These new funds will provide real help for families, children and even job-seekers.”

Schumer said that Central New York is slated to get a sizable portion of the $1.8 billion and that eligible parents will receive child care subsidies, including essential workers. Local facilities will be able to use the funding to reimburse for expenses of the past year. 

In detailing the funds on the way to New York and Central New York, Schumer explained they will be delivered to the state in two parts: 1) the Childcare Stabilization Fund — $1.1B to New York, and 2) the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) — $705M to New York.

Under the Childcare Stabilization Fund, New York will use the federal funds to award subgrants to licensed and regulated child care providers in Central New York that are either open or have been temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Qualified child care providers receive subgrants based on their current operating expenses, including costs associated with providing such services during the pandemic. New York must also make the grant application available online. Central New York child care providers can use those funds to cover personnel costs, rent and mortgage payments, PPE, sanitation, training and professional development related to health and safety, mental health services for children and staff, and other operational expenses. As a condition of the funds, child care providers receiving these funds must keep their payrolls intact (provide full compensation to its employees) and to the extent possible, provide copayment and tuition relief to families they serve.

Under the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), New York has a lot of flexibility with the dollars. New York can award child care providers based on enrollment of children, rather than attendance. New York can also use the funds to provide child care subsidies to families, including essential workers (health care employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential), regardless of their income. This fund is projected to expand child care subsidies to an estimated 875,000 children nationwide.

“Central New York will see a sizable portion of this $1.8 billion in direct child care relief funds,” Schumer added. “This will mean kids, families, essential workers, and early educators can get past this pandemic and that this sector can provide for local jobs, too, making it part of the larger local recovery.”

Schumer also highlighted several other ways the American Rescue Plan will help Cortland County:

  • Direct Payments: Approximately $55M in $1,400 checks for an estimated 22,000 households in Cortland County.
  • Child Tax Credit: Approximately $17M in CTC payments for families
  •  Local Governments: More than $14M for Cortland County governments, including over $9M for Cortland County, over $2M for City of Cortland, and over $3M for towns and villages
  • Higher Education: $16.8M for SUNY Cortland, half of which must be used as financial aid for students
  • FQHC: $2.6M for Cortland’s Family Health Network

 Cortland County will also receive a sizable portion of the following funds:

  •  K-12 schools: $9B for New York
  • New Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement and Testing: $4B for New York
  • Emergency Rental & Homelessness Assistance: $1B for New York
  • Nutrition assistance: $1.07B for New York
  • Earned Income Tax Credit: $786M for New York
  • Broadband Connectivity: $632M for New York
  • Airports: $418M for New York
  • Head Start: $59M for New York
  • Rural Transit: $12M for New York
  • Small Business, Restaurant, and Live Venue Relief: $57.8B nationwide
  • Agriculture & Farmer support: $4B nationwide
  • Rural Hospital Assistance: $8.5B nationwide
  • Medicaid FMAP Increase: $2.7B for NY ($2.1 billion already delivered from Schumer pushing President Biden to extend through the end of the calendar year, in addition to approximately 600 million from a targeted enhanced FMAP for home and community-based services from this legislation)