OCFS Proposes New Child Care Market Rate Regulations

Susan Antos June 28, 2016

The Office of Children and Family Services has promulgated emergency regulations which appear in the June 15, 2016 New York State Register regarding market rates effective June 1, 2016.  These regulations have also been promulgated as proposed regulations, and OCFS will be taking public comment on these regulations until July 30, 2016.  Comments can be made by e-mail to info@ocfs.ny.gov.  Be sure to reference New York State Child Care Market Rates (ID#CFS-24-16-00005-EP) in the subject line.

2009 – 2013 Market Rate Comparison Chart

Summary of Changes – Structure

  • Saratoga County has moved from cluster 2 to cluster 4 which is now Albany, Dutchess, Orange, Saratoga, and Ulster.
  • Family and group family rates are merged into one category
  • For family, group family and legally exempt family and in-home child care, the age categories have been changed to “under 2,” 2, 3-5 and 6-12. Centers and legally exempt group child care maintain the current categories of “under 1 ½,” 1 ½-2, 3-5 and 6-12 categories.

Summary of Changes – Rates

  • Special Needs Rates
    • weekly rate INCREASED just over 9% to $371 per week;
    • Daily, part-day and hourly special needs rates decreased between 9-12%
  • Day care center rates
    • Day care center weekly rates
      • INCREASED by approximately 5% in Group 2 counties
      • INCREASED between 5-6% in Group 3 counties
      • INCREASED between 2-4% in Group 4 counties
      • INCREASED by over 12% for infants; increased  4-5% for other children under 6 in New York City
    • Day care center rates for daily and part day
      • Decreased in group 1 counties between 7 -13% depending on the age of the child;
      • Decreased in group 4 counties between 3-8%
  • Family day care rates
    • Weekly rates INCREASED  in group one counties between 7-10% depending on the age of the child;
    • In group 3 counties, weekly rates INCREASED by 7% for 2-5 year olds.
    • In group 4 counties
    • New York City (group 5)  – Weekly family day care rates INCREASED in between 14-16.6% depending on the age of the child, but the hourly rate decreased by 25%; Legally exempt standard and enhanced rates decreased 25%.
  • School age child care
    • In New York City decreased between 2-3% in most categories and was particularly hard hit with a 16% decrease in hourly rates.
    • In contrast, the hourly rate in group 2 counties INCREASED by 14%.

What is the impact of the merging of Family and Group Family rates?

  1. The survey on which the proposed market rates were based was done in the first quarter of 2015, when New York’s minimum wage was $8.75. The minimum wage is now $9 per hour and will be rising again at different rates across the state at the end of this year.
  • In New York City – to $11 an hour for employers with more than ten employees and $10.50 an hour for all others. In December 2017, the minimum wage in New York City will be rising to $13 an hour for employers with more than ten employees and $12 an hour for all others.
  • In Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester (group 1 counties) – to $10 an hour (one rate). In December 2017, the minimum wage for these counties will be rise to $11 and an additional dollar every year until 2021 when it reaches $15 per hour.
  • In the rest of the state, the rate will be $9.70 at the end of this year; $10.40 at the end of 2017; $11.10 at the end of 2018 and $11.80 at the end of 2019 and $12.50 at the end of 2020.

How does OCFS intend to address the impact of the upcoming minimum wage increases on child care providers?