Governor Announces Initiative to Expand Child Care Centers at SUNY Campuses
Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of an initiative to expand and create high-quality childcare centers across all State University of New York campuses for students and faculty – particularly in areas where childcare deserts exist. The initiative includes the distribution of $4.5 million in federal and state funding to support current centers, a program to train the next generation of childcare professionals, and the development of a long-term plan to achieve the Governor’s State of the State goal to eliminate childcare deserts across SUNY. The Governor’s Executive Budget includes $10.8 million to support the creation of additional childcare centers on SUNY campuses.
“Childcare services are a critical part of our economic recovery, providing parents much-needed support as they pursue an education or join the workforce,” Governor Hochul said. “This funding is an important step toward my administration’s goal of eliminating childcare deserts across SUNY campuses statewide and adequately investing in our state’s students, faculty, and working parents.”
During the 2020-2021 academic year, SUNY served 1,200 student parents with more than 4,000 childcare spots across the 46 SUNY campuses that have a childcare center onsite. The centers also serve faculty, staff, and state employees, as well as the neighboring community – each utilizing about a third of total childcare spots. 18 more centers are currently needed to fully cover all 64 of SUNY’s campuses statewide.
State University of New York Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, “More limited childcare presents a major barrier for our student parents and older siblings who must choose childcare over classes, and even for our faculty parents. With additional federal, state, and SUNY support, we can expand our resources on campus with high-quality care, and at the same time work to train more early childcare professionals for SUNY and other centers across our state. This is just the first of multiple initiatives across SUNY. We applaud Governor Kathy Hochul for recognizing the need to expand childcare services further in her State of the State address, and we look forward to working together to keep all doors of opportunity open for working parents.”
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, “Declining enrollment is a problem at SUNY and throughout the nation. Providing childcare will enable men and women to return to SUNY, take additional classes and join the workforce. The economic and social benefits are obvious. I thank Governor Hochul for this progressive addition to the wonderful SUNY system.”
Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick said, “New Yorkers should never be forced to decide between caring for their child or furthering their education. I thank Governor Hochul for prioritizing the expansion of childcare services, which will help SUNY students, faculty, and staff get back into the classroom. The added benefit to this expansion is that children of parents who attend college are more likely to pursue higher education themselves, further lifting communities up.”
SUNY distributed nearly $4.5 million in funding, including:
$3.9 million in federal grants for all SUNY childcare centers as part of the Child Care Stabilization Funds by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). These funds, made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, help with operational costs such as personnel and training as well as support for the mental health needs of employees and their children.
$500,000 to 16 campuses as part of SUNY’s Early Childhood Worker paid internship program. 139 paid interns who are earning their degree in early childhood studies will be hired to work an average of 20 hours a week. The new scholarship program fills the demand for additional childcare support while providing each student with valuable real-life early childhood job experience to complement academic coursework.
$80,000 to 11 campuses to achieve or maintain accreditation from nationally recognized quality organizations. Funding will go toward replacing worn classroom equipment, supplying class materials, ensuring ADA access and paying for consulting and accreditation fees.
Local SUNY campuses receiving a portion of the $4.5 million funding include SUNY Purchase and Westchester Community College.