ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new online screening tool has made finding low or no-cost childcare easier for eligible New Yorkers.
The tool asks basic question about family circumstances and income, and then determines eligibility for childcare resources through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). It does not provide access to resources, but instead is meant to alert parents and guardians of eligibility.
“Less than 10% of children eligible for child care assistance actually receive it,” Suzanne Miles Gustave, the acting commissioner of NYS Office of Children and Family Services, said.
Gustave is co-chairing the NYS Child Care Availability Task Force alongside Roberta Reardon, the NYS Department of Labor commissioner. The two are leading the re-established group as they analyze current issues in childcare accessibility and affordability, and making recommendations to the governor.
Basic requirements to use the CCAP include — but are not limited to — situations where families are receiving temporary assistance, are foster parents, and/or meet the income restrictions (for a single guardian, roughly $40,000). To see if you are eligible, visit the online screening tool.
“This is not just a women’s issue,” Reardon said. “It’s a parent issue. It’s an employer issue. It’s a societal issue, and addressing it is vital to our continued economic recovery. I am proud to serve as task force co-chair and look forward to working with the other members to identify and implement solutions.”
The tool does not provide childcare resources. To see what specific free or low-cost resources are available for eligible parents, and how much you’d pay, submit an application at your local Department of Social Services.
To get a county-specific list of all child care providers (both in and outside of CCAP), get in touch with a state-recommended referral agency here.