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NYS Office of Children and Family Services 

Please read the NYS OCFS Dear Provider Letters for important guidance and updates regarding child care programs.


NYS OCFS Division of Child Care Services (DCCS) quarterly newsletter now available!

The newsletter includes information and updates from DCCS on new initiatives, changes in regulations and requirements, important reminders about trainings and contracts, and other early childhood resources to promote quality in NYS early childhood care and education programs.


Workforce Retention Grant

The goal of the Workforce Retention Grant program is to support the early childhood education and child care workforce by providing funds for staff retention bonuses and recruitment activities. The Workforce Retention Grant program is for eligible NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) licensed/registered School-Age Child Care Programs (SACC), Day Care Centers (DCC), Family Day Care Homes (FDC), Group Family Day Care Homes (GFDC), Small Day Care Centers (SDCC) and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) permitted Article 47 Group Day Care Centers (GDC). Utilizing ARPA, CRRSA, and state support, a total of $500M will be made available for programs applying from July 26, 2023 through September 15, 2023. Legally exempt programs are not eligible for this funding.
The Workforce Retention Grant is one grant, comprised of two components. Only eligible child care programs can apply for the grant, individual staff cannot apply. Applicants who are awarded will receive both components and must comply with all grant terms and eligible expense types for each component. The two components of the grant are:
Component A: Staff Retention Bonuses: Eligible programs must request grant funds on behalf of each currently employed eligible staff. Each eligible staff must be included on the application. The entirety (100%) of the staff retention bonus amount must be passed on to each staff person, if they remain eligible at the time of payment.
Component B: Staff Recruitment Expenses and Payroll Tax Assistance:
• Eligible programs must request funds to pay for expenses related to recruiting and hiring new staff. 
• Recruitment funds may also be used to pay longevity bonuses to existing staff who have been with the program 6 months or more.
• Eligible child care programs will also receive funds toward the employer portion of payroll taxes incurred while issuing bonus payments to        their staff or recruitment expenses paid.
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• Employed at the physical location of the  child care program
• Have an active child caring role in the program (Provide direct supervision to a child(ren) not related to provider)
• Be paid through the employer’s payroll; a
nd have state and federal taxes withheld from their paycheck.
• Have worked on average 15 hours per week (10 hours for SACC staff) between 1/1/23 (or start of emplyment) and 6/26/23.

• Must have been fingerprinted and have completed necessary background information documents for at least provisional employment, if applicable, on or before 6/26/23.

Note: The eligible staff must meet these requirements on day of application and upon the applicant program’s disbursement of grant funds

Child Care Stabilization Grant 1.0 & Workforce Supports 2.0

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has awarded $900 million to 15,000 eligible child care providers through the Child Care Stabilization Grant. The first Child Care Stabilization grant (known as Stabilization 1.0) was released on August 3, 2021 and $1.074 billion was made available to eligible child care providers. Applications were closed for the Child Care Stabilization 1.0 on November 30, 2021. 

Based on the success of the Child Care Stabilization 1.0 grants, OCFS will distribute another round of funds to child care providers to strengthen their infrastructure and support their workforce. OCFS is prioritizing workforce support for child care staff by requiring that at least 75% of the Child Care Stabilization Grant 2.0 for Workforce Supports be spent on workforce support expenses. Applications were closed for the Child Care Stabilization 2.0 on December 14, 2022. 

Child Care Deserts Grant 

New York State identified $100M to build and expand child care capacity in areas with the least supply. Utilizing funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), child care desert funding represents an unprecedented opportunity and investment to build capacity and strengthen the state’s economy, by addressing the issues that impact businesses including chronic absence, productivity reductions and turnover due to inadequate options for quality child care in the most needed parts of the state. 

RFA#1 for New child care providers 
  • Invest in NY Child Care awards were announced on July 25, 2022.

  • Payments will be made no later than June 30, 2024.

  • Final contracts will be issued once the program’s license/registration is completed.

  • Providers awarded a Child Care Deserts Grant for New Programs are expected to participate in QUALITYstarsNY’s Start with Stars initiative once their new program is licensed. 

RFA#2 for Existing child care providers

  • The application portal closed on August 24th, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

  • Invest in NY Child Care awards were announced on Friday, October 21, 2022.

  • Payments will be made no later than June 30, 2024.

  • Providers awarded a Child Care Deserts Grant for Existing Providers are required to participate in QUALITYstarsNY once awarded the grant.

Grant for Payment of Retroactive Absences 

The 2022 Enacted Budget authorized the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to issue payments for absences to child care providers that served at least one child in receipt of child care assistance for care provided on or after April 1, 2020, and prior to December 1, 2021.This is a one-time grant opportunity for licensed, registered, and enrolled legally-exempt providers who are currently open and in good standing.


For grant questions, email:

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