Lawmakers urge Cuomo to preserve expanded access to child care

By Published On: July 23rd, 2021Categories: Capitol Notes

The end of the state’s pandemic disaster declaration last month could soon have dramatic consequences for families in New York, according to a pair of Democratic state lawmakers and child care industry stakeholders.

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and Sen. Jabari Brisport, chairs of their chambers respective children and families committees, wrote to Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week urging his administration to extend child care waivers, which dramatically expanded access to care and are set to expire shortly after a 30-day grace period following the official end of the state’s pandemic emergency on June 24.

The full text of the letter is available below.

The waivers issued during the pandemic raised the income eligibility to qualify for child care subsidies, limited the co-pays that some families paid for care and provided a more beneficial payment structure to providers that helped them stay open.

“While a thirty-day grace period was granted for some of the waivers, this limited grace period is inadequate protection for the thousands of families who will receive notice in the coming days that their child care costs will rise from zero dollars a month to hundreds or even thousands, and is equally devastating to the child care providers who will see this lifeline of support end,” Hevesi and Brisport wrote in their July 12 letter to Cuomo.

The lawmakers want to see the waivers extended through at least September and are calling on the Cuomo administration to expeditiously implement child care measures enacted in the state budget that would mitigate the fallout from the waivers eventually ending.

This sentiment was seconded a week later in a very similar letter – they share some of the same sentences – sent to the administration by the Empire State Campaign for Child Care and Winning Beginning New York, which asked the state for a 90-day extension of the waivers.

Joint Letter to the Governor _ Child Care Waivers _ 2021.07.13 (2) by Capitol Pressroom on Scribd