Young Children and Working Parents Lose in New York’s 2017-18 Budget

Susan Antos April 27, 2017

The recently enacted state budget has slashed the investment in child care by $7.5 million, with targeted reductions to subsidies and facilitated enrollment.  As a result, at least 900 children in New York State will lose access to child care.

The Executive Budget had purported to maintain last year’s investment in subsidies but only did so by requiring counties to use $27 million of their Title XX money for child care, despite the fact that such money was already committed to other programs for seniors, youth and other vulnerable communities.  Although the final enacted budget eliminated the earmarking of those Title XX funds, the legislature was only able to restore $20 million of the $27 million back to child care.  This resulted in a cut of $7 million for subsidies in the final enacted budget.

In addition, the Governor proposed no funding for facilitated enrollment programs targeted for working families with incomes up to 275% of poverty, which have been in existence for over a decade.  The legislature restored funding for existing programs to an amount that was $500,000 less than last year’s funding – $9,988,000.  The programs are largely funded with monies from the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grant with an additional state investment of $1.5 million.

All existing facilitated enrollment programs shared in the cut except for Erie County and Monroe County, which stayed constant at $500,000 for each program.  Over $6 million dollars were targeted to various locations in New York City, and just over $2.5 million in facilitated enrollment dollars were earmarked for Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Albany and Oneida counties.

One bright spot: New York State Education Department funded after school care programs received a $35 million increase targeted to high poverty areas.  See http://networkforyouthsuccess.org/new-york-state-budget-includes-35-million-for-afterschool-programs/ for detailed information about the allocations.  It is not yet clear whether this will cushion the overall cuts to subsidies.  Currently over 1/3 of subsidized slots are provided to children in after school care.  Since the increased funding only goes to targeted areas, any relief will not be spread uniformly across the state, but may provide assistance to the most needy.

A detailed charts showing how child care has been funded are available here.

 Susan Antos testifies at the 2017 Human Services budget hearing on child care and other priorities.