New York has launched a new online screening tool that will help working families access child care throughout the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced.
The new online screening tool will help parents determine their eligibility for financial support from New York’s Child Care Assistance Program for low or no-cost child care.
“As a mother who put her career on pause due to a lack of affordable child care, I understand first-hand how important this lifeline is for families,” Governor Hochul said in a statement.
“Complimenting the major investments made in funding child care, we are taking significant steps to improve the process of finding care, widen program eligibility, and support our workforce to ensure all New Yorkers have access to these critical resources,” she said.
This new digital effort is part of the governor’s sweeping plan to make New York’s child care system fairer, more affordable, and easier to access, the press release said.
Hochul announced the statewide electronic pre-screening tool as part of her 2023 State of the State address in January, when she called for streamlining and centralizing the childcare application process.
The governor also committed to accelerating the application process for families in her continuing effort to expand access to high-quality child care, including an unprecedented $7.6 billion investment over four years.
Developed by the state Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), the new online tool is aimed at accelerating and streamlining the application process for families, so that they can quickly determine the services they may be eligible to receive.
Families can complete an optional online questionnaire, which immediately lets them know whether they meet the basic criteria for eligibility and then directs them to the local department of social services to apply for funding.
The new online tool is available to the public in 12 languages on the OCFS website and can be accessed anywhere, anytime with a computer or mobile device.