Community News

Childcare To Become More Affordable For Many Low And Moderate Income Families

Suffolk County residents got a boost in paying for childcare. As part of the 2022-23 New York State budget, families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level will qualify for assistance.  Previously, the income standard set by the State for childcare subsidies was 200 percent. Assistance will be administered locally by the Suffolk and Nassau counties departments of Social Services.

“A strong childcare system helps buttress a strong economy,” said Adrian Fassett, C.E.O. of the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc., a Patchogue-based not-for-profit that own 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.  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.”

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 in New York State.

“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,” Governor Hochul said. “These historic investments in New York State’s childcare system will allow us to forge a new path forward for parents, especially mothers. 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 percent threshold, are enrolled in an education or training program, 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.

To find out if you are eligible under these new guidelines, please contact your local county Department of Social Services: Suffolk (631) 854-3349, Nassau (516) 227-8519.  Families seeking childcare in the Greater Patchogue area can directly call Way to Grow Childcare/Learning Center at (631) 475-7239.

About the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc.

The Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc. – a not-for- profit 501(c)(3) community-based organization – has been serving Suffolk County since 1967. It is the county’s federally designated Community Action Agency, designed to assist low-income families and individuals. The agency’s mission is to promote a goal of self-sufficiency by broadening the minds of children, revitalizing communities, and assisting families and children in need through coordination of public and private resources.  For more information, go to www.eoc-suffolk.com.

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