(WNY News Now) – New York State has taken significant steps to enhance access to affordable child care for its hardworking families, increasing eligibility and capping costs as part of a $7.6 billion investment over four years.
Albany – New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a substantial expansion of the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), designed to alleviate the financial burden on families in need of child care services. Effective October 1, 2023, the CCAP eligibility limit will rise from 300 percent of the federal poverty level to 85 percent of the state median income, benefiting over 100,000 additional New York families. This change raises the income threshold from $83,250 to $93,200 for a family of four.
In addition to expanding eligibility, child care costs for participating families will now be limited to just 1 percent of their total income above the poverty line, ensuring greater affordability. The number of allowable annual absences from child care has also been significantly increased, from 24 to 80 days, to standardize assistance across local districts.
Acting Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services, Suzanne Miles-Gustave, praised the transformation of the child care system, emphasizing the commitment to equity. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and State Senator Jabari Brisport expressed their support for these vital investments in accessible and affordable child care.
This measure shows New York’s commitment to expanding child care accessibility extends to various programs and initiatives, including grants, tax credits for businesses, and support for military families, ensuring that child care remains a priority for New York State’s hardworking families.