For some families, childcare becomes more affordable


For low and middle-income families, childcare is becoming more affordable.

Beginning Aug. 1, as part of the 2022-23 New York State budget, families who earn up to 300% of the federal poverty level, up from 200% previously, will qualify for assistance.

“A strong childcare system helps buttress a strong economy,” Adrian Fassett, CEO of the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, said in a statement. The Patchogue-based not-for-profit owns and operates Way to Grow Child Care Learning Center in East Patchogue.

“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. “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.”

Eligible families will pay less because of New York’s $7 billion expansion of childcare funding.

“I know firsthand how a lack of childcare can hurt your career, your family and your future, as a working mother when I was forced to leave my job to care for my child,” Gov. Kathy Hochul has said.

“These historic investments in New York State’s childcare system will allow us to forge a new path forward for parents, especially mothers,” she added. “It is the right thing to do, the moral thing to do, and will supercharge our economic recovery and support working families. Childcare is an essential service, and in New York, we will continue to do everything in our power to make sure more working families have access to it.”

Parents can be eligible if they are employed and earn no more than the 300% 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, according to the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk. For example, a family of four can earn up to $83,250 annually and still be eligible for subsidized childcare.


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