Speaker Carl Heastie and Children and Families Committee Chair Andrew Hevesi today announced that the Assembly State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23 Budget includes over $3 billion for childcare and makes critical investments in preventative services that help keep children and families together, preventing youth from entering the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
“Childcare is a critical service to families and absolutely essential to a strong economy,” said Speaker Heastie. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the closure of many childcare facilities and forced many people, especially women, out of the workforce entirely. Our budget reflects our continued commitment to putting New York families first.”
“Our children are growing up in an incredibly difficult time with the pandemic and ensuing increase in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).For every four COVID-related deaths in the U.S., one child loses a caregiver. While no policy can adequately fill the void of such devastating loss, our state has a duty to provide all of our children with every possible tool to succeed in the wake of these heightened levels of trauma.” said Assemblymember Hevesi. “The Assembly’s One House Budget proposal this year delivers on our commitment to preventing trauma and helping traumatized children. In addition to more than $3 billion in childcare, our budget invests in prevention, in local governments, in our workforces, in our families and our children. Thank you to Speaker Heastie, Chair Weinstein, Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes and all of my Assembly Majority colleagues for being united in purpose for our children.”
The Assembly proposed spending plan includes more than $3 billion in childcare investments, including $2 billion to maintain current subsidies and expand the eligibility from 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 400 percent of the FPL, over a three year period. To increase the childcare market rate from the 69th percentile to the 90th percentile, the proposal includes an investment of $370 million. The plan also includes $500 million for additional childcare stabilization grants to assist with provider costs such as wages, rent, and other operational needs, and $200 million in capital support to expand childcare access and availability, with a priority on investments in childcare deserts.
The budget also restores funding to critical programs operated by the Office of Children and Family Services, including:
- $2.5 million for Settlement Houses;
- $2 million for Safe Harbor;
- $1.9 million for Kinship Care;
- $1.5 million for the Youth Development Program; and
- $100,000 for Kinship Navigator.
The Assembly Budget also adds $5 million in funding for Advantage Afterschool to restore funding to the SFY 2021-22 level of $33 million.
For years, the Assembly has fought to fund and defend essential resources and implement effective policies for children and families. The budget includes $55 million for the Foster Care Block Grant and $27 million for Adoption Subsidies. The plan also includes $30 million to restore the state’s child welfare reimbursement from 62 to 65 percent, as is currently required by law. This funding stream will help counties make essential investments that keep families together and prevent youth from entering the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.