Section I: Child Care Subsidy: Current and Future Need
Current Process to Address the Child Care Need Child care in New York State is funded through a combination of federal, state, and local sources. The New York State Child Care Block Grant (CCBG) is the major source of funding for child care subsidies. The CCBG comprises funds received under the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), additional funds the State chooses to transfer from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant, and any State funds appropriated for child care. Social services districts must maintain local funding for child care subsidies at a level (maintenance of effort level) established by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). In addition, local districts may transfer a portion of the TANF funding they receive from their Flexible Fund for Family Services allocations to their CCBG allocations. Most of the CCBG funding is used to provide subsidies for low-income families and is allocated to local social services districts, but a portion of the funding is utilized for quality activities to improve the child care system. Such activities include, but are not limited to, funding for information and referral services for parents, educational scholarships for child care providers, and training for child care providers and inspectors.
OCFS establishes policies regarding local administration of the CCBG, including a statewide income eligibility ceiling set at 200% of the State Income Standard. However, local districts are allowed to prioritize categories of families to be served when the need for child care subsidies exceeds the funds available to the district. Districts can elect to use Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) funds, often referred to as Title XX, to fund child care subsidies. During the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2007 (October 1, 2006 through September 30, 2007), 23 social services districts used SSBG (Title XX) funds to help families pay for low income child care. Districts using Title XX funds are allowed to set their own eligibility levels within parameters established by OCFS (see Appendix B for a complete list of counties that opt to use Title XX dollars for child care and eligibility limits). 1 2
As noted above, the CCBG is designed to help families with incomes at or below 200% of the State Income Standard pay for child care. Based on 2006 Census data, an estimated 562,656 children in New York State were potentially financially eligible to receive child care subsidies.3 Statewide, 37% of children who are potentially eligible for child care assistance (children who are under age 12 with family incomes below 200% of the State Income Standard with all resident parents in the workforce) receive a subsidy under the CCBG from their local social services district (see Appendix C for complete analysis).4,5 However, national experts suggest that, on average, only 50% of
1 The State Income Standard is based upon the federal poverty level. A family size of three is used as an example throughout this report. Two hundred percent of the State Income Standard for a family of three was $33,200 for the period June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2007.
2 Districts select an eligibility level for child care subsidies funded under Title XX up to 275% of the State Income Standard for a family of one or two, 255% for a family of three, and 225% for a family of four or more.
3 Calculations are based on 2006 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) Census data. PUMS data are grouped by counties based on population size. Census data on family income relative to the Federal Poverty Level were available for children under age 12 years. However, children are eligible for subsidized child care under 13 years of age, unless they have special needs or are 4