U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer stood at Candy Apple Children’s Center in Wayne County to announce that more than $1.8 billion from the American Rescue Plan he guided through the Senate is on the way to New York, with a sizable portion coming directly to the Finger Lakes region, to help child care providers and employers – and parents – meet new and ongoing needs amid the pandemic.
Schumer said that, after COVID-19 forced the closure of hundreds of Rochester and Finger Lakes area daycare facilities greatly increasing demands for child care, the funds on the way will provide critical relief and real help for childcare operators to re-open and for local families to secure care for their children.
“Since the start of this pandemic, day care and child care center advocates in the Finger Lakes have been sounding the alarm that these places are critical to our reopening and need help to survive,” said Senator Schumer. “...I can report that this critical relief is on the way. These new funds will provide real help for families, children and even job-seekers.”
Schumer explained that, now, local providers can keep their staff employed, reinstate staff that was laid off, and ultimately, ensure child care for many families who greatly depend on Finger Lakes child care services. Schumer said the Finger Lakes region is slated to get a sizable portion of the $1.8 billion dollars and that eligible parents will receive child care subsidies, including essential workers.
Schumer explained 12 childcare operators closed in Wayne County due to the pandemic. Candy Apple Children’s Center (CACC) in Newark, NY has been providing childcare for Wayne County families for over 38 years and typically served 75 children before the pandemic hit reducing their enrollment to 25. Currently enrollment is up to 45, and while CACC was able to receive two federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to keep their doors open during the pandemic despite the reduced enrollment and revenue, CACC and hundreds of centers like it across the Finger Lakes are confronting the need to increase capacity despite precarious financial footings.
In detailing the funds on the way to New York and the Finger Lakes, Schumer explained they will be delivered to the state in two parts: 1) the Childcare Stabilization Fund -- $1.1B to New York, and 2) the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) -- $705M to New York.
Dr. Ellen Wayne, Wayne County Commissioner of Social Service said, “Unlike in urban areas where families may have more childcare opportunities, for rural regions like Wayne County it’s even more vital that we help providers to re-open, stay open or afford the social distancing and PPE required to keep childcare capacity available. That’s why we appreciate Senator Schumer’s work to secure this crucial childcare funding to help both our childcare providers and parents afford to maintain childcare throughout and after the pandemic.”
Kelly McDonald, Wayne County Branch Coordinator for Child Care Council said, “Childcare providers play an essential role in our communities and they keep American families working. It is imperative that they receive the resources and support they need after being impacted by the pandemic. When a program must close it not only affects the provider but also the children, families and the employers that rely on them to be at work daily. We at the Child Care Council applaud Senator Schumer for his efforts to secure much-needed funding that will enable childcare programs to continue to provide outstanding care for our children and support for our region’s families.”
Schumer also highlighted several other ways the American Rescue Plan will help Wayne County:
·Direct Payments: Approximately $104M in $1,400 checks for an estimated 41,500 households in Wayne County.
· Child Tax Credit: Approximately $32.5M in CTC payments for families
· Local Governments: More than $27M for Wayne County governments, including over $17M for Wayne County and over $9M for towns and villages
· Education: $22.4M for Wayne County School Districts and $971,000 for Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES
Wayne County will also receive a sizable portion of the following funds:
·New Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement and Testing: $4B for New York
· Emergency Rental & Homelessness Assistance: $1B for New York
·Nutrition assistance: $1.07B for New York
·Earned Income Tax Credit: $786M for New York
·Broadband Connectivity: $632M for New York
·Airports: $418M for New York
· Head Start: $59M for New York
· Rural Transit: $12M for New York
·Small Business, Restaurant, and Live Venue Relief: $57.8B nationwide
·Agriculture & Farmer support: $4B nationwide
· Rural Hospital Assistance: $8.5B nationwide
· Medicaid FMAP Increase: $2.7B for NY ($2.1 billion already delivered from Schumer pushing President Biden to extend through the end of the calendar year, in addition to approximately 600 million from a targeted enhanced FMAP for home and community-based services from this legislation)