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Free childcare available for local essential workers

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The Child Development Council of Cortland and Tompkins Counties is applauding recent actions taken by the state to ensure child care is provided at no cost for essential workers in need.

Any income-eligible essential workers who are using a regulated child care provider will be compensated for the cost of care as long as funds are available, with all licensed and regulated organizations eligible for participation.

Funding for the new program will come from a portion of a $163M emergency relief grant for the state’s child care system included in the most recent federal CARES Act package.

“Access to affordable and safe child care is a barrier for working parents during the best of times, and even more so during a crisis,” said Jude Keith Rose, a child care planner/developer with the Child Development Council. “New York State‚Äôs plan will ensure that the workforce that is needed to protect and care for the public during this pandemic have the child care that allows them to continue to serve us all. CCR&Rs are the child care experts and the conduit to accessing child care in New York State.

If you’re a parent who meets the definition of an essential employee and has urgent child care needs, registration for free child care services can be applied for by clicking here.
You will be contacted by the Child Development Council within one business day.
The agency will then follow up on with more directions on how to report household information and help you identify a participating child care provider or work with your current registered or licensed child care provider.
Any questions can be emailed to or directed via phone by calling (607) 273-0259.

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