Suffolk County residents will get a boost when it comes to paying for childcare, as more families can qualify for assistance.
Beginning August 1, families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level will qualify for childcare assistance. Previously, the income standard set by the state for childcare subsidies was 200 percent.
According to the governor’s office, thousands of families will now be eligible for childcare subsidies as part of a $7 billion expansion of childcare funding as part of the 2022-2023 New York State budget.
Parents can be eligible if they are employed and earn no more than the 300 percent threshold, are enrolled in an education or training program, are in mental health or substance abuse treatment, or are in an emergency situation of short duration. For example, a family of four can earn up to $83,250 annually and still be eligible for subsidized childcare.
Childcare assistance will be administered locally by the Suffolk County Department of Social Services.
Adrian Fassett, CEO of the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, a Patchogue-based nonprofit that owns and operates Way to Grow Child Care Learning Center in East Patchogue, said a strong childcare system helps support a strong economy.
“The reality is that working people can’t get to their jobs if they don’t have a quality, safe place to send their children,” Fassett said in an agency statement. “More workers are returning to an office setting following more than two years of working from home and we need to do all we can to ensure they have access to excellent childcare.”
To find out if you are eligible for childcare assistance contact the Suffolk County Department of Social Services at 631-854-3349.