Speaker Carl Heastie and Children and Families Committee Chair Andrew Hevesi today announced that the approved State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23 Budget makes unprecedented investments in children and families, including $7 billion over four years to expand childcare access across the state.
“The Assembly Majority has always believed in putting families first because we know that the success of our state depends on the wellbeing of our families,” said Speaker Heastie. “The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the childcare crisis and forced too many New Yorkers out of the workforce entirely. The Assembly Majority fought for unprecedented investments in childcare to get New Yorkers back in the workforce and to get our economy moving.”
“When we invest in our families, we’re investing in our communities writ large,” said Assemblymember Hevesi. “For all of us who care about public safety, we need investments like this to truly address long term causes of poverty and crime. Every child that grows up without adequate education, nutrition, safe housing or health care is at exponentially higher risk of experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma that too often lead to involvement in our criminal justice system down the line. Further, childcare is a core economic justice issue; for years, but especially throughout this pandemic, too many families struggled without access to affordable, reliable child care. As we recover, this historic investment in childcare will allow us to provide families with the support they need, ensure that childcare providers have the resources to succeed, and put our state on a path to guarantee that all children have the care they deserve. When families have access to affordable, quality childcare, our communities are safer and our families have the chance to thrive. I applaud the leadership of Speaker Heastie and Governor Hochul for their commitment to New York’s kids, and I look forward to working with them to further invest in our families.”
The SFY 2022-23 Budget will increase eligibility for subsidies to 300 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and increase the market rate to the 80th percentile in 2022. The plan will also invest $343 million in stabilization grants, including funds specifically for wage enhancements for providers. The plan also includes $50 million in capital money for childcare, $15.6 million in start-up funds to expand childcare to all SUNY and CUNY campuses, and $1.1 billion in funding to increase access to Universal Prekindergarten.
The approved budget incentivizes childcare expansion with the inclusion of a five year property tax abatement for property owners that create a new or expand an existing childcare center in New York City.
Other critical trauma prevention and mitigation investments for children in the approved budget include a $7.1 million investment in runaway and homeless youth, $5 million for youth sports and $2.5 million for YouthBuild.