Invest in New York - Child Care Deserts Grant for Existing Providers

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You are on this page: Invest in New York - Child Care Deserts Grant for Existing Providers

The application portal for the Invest in NY Child Care Desert Grant (RFA) #2 for Existing Providers will be available Monday, July 18, 2022. The deadline to apply is Monday, August 22, 2022. All providers will be notified via email when the portal becomes available.

Child Care Deserts Help Line: 844-863-9320

Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Program Overview

New York State identified $100M to build and expand child care capacity in areas with the least supply, with $30M available to existing programs expanding capacity under their current license. Utilizing funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), child care desert funding represents an unprecedented opportunity and investment to build capacity and strengthen the state’s economy, by addressing the issues that impact businesses including chronic absence, productivity reductions and turnover due to inadequate options for quality child care in the most needed parts of the state.

RFA#2 for Existing child care providers seeks to expand the capacity and/or types of care currently available within licensed programs.

Child Care Desert Definition

The standard definition of a child care desert involves not having enough licensed/registered child day care slots to adequately serve the number of children in a geographic area. For this funding opportunity, the geographic area used to measure population is a census tract. An area is identified as a child care “desert” if there are three or more children under the age of five per available child care slot in local day care centers, family day care, or group family day care programs.

OCFS and the Council on Children and Families (CCF) have created an online mapping tool illustrating the locations of New York State’s child care deserts, which are the areas eligible for funding under the request for applications (RFA). To view the detailed REDC Child Care Deserts map visit bit.ly/cc_deserts.

Important Dates

General Requirements

Eligible providers must be operating an existing licensed child care program before January 28, 2022 and have a base RFA score of at least 30, based on their site location. Providers must have contacted their assigned OCFS regulator or NYC DOHMH borough office about changes to their license and initiated the process for updating program specifics before submitting their application. NYCDOHMH permitted Article 47 day care centers must initiate contact with their borough office regarding permit changes.

The RFA is organized into two components:

Component RFA Requirements

Component A: For Day Care Centers, including NYC Article 47 Centers, and School Age Child Care programs

To expand up to 25 NEW child care slots under their existing license.

Component B: For Small Day Care Centers, Family Day Care and Group Family Day Care programs

To provide at least ONE of the following:

  • Expand program hours to include at least 15 hours of nontraditional hour care a week.
  • Provide services to at least one newly enrolled infant/toddler.1
  • Provide services to at least one newly enrolled child with special needs.1
  1. Component B providers must have current enrollment that is less than their licensed capacity to be able to apply for the Child Care Deserts grant. Programs may not displace existing children from care to create openings.

To read the full requirements to apply for this grant, read the full Request for Application here:

All awarded programs will be expected to enroll and participate in the QUALITYStarsNY program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are child care deserts?

Child care deserts are areas of the state that do not have enough licensed/registered child day care slots to adequately serve the number of children in the geographic area.

When will the application portal open?

The application portal will open for existing providers on June 30th, 2022 and will remain open until August 4, 2022 at 11:59PM.

Am I eligible to apply for this grant?

This grant opportunity is for existing child care programs that were licensed/permitted/registered before 1/28/2022 with either OCFS or NYCDOHMH who are seeking to expand capacity under their existing license. The modalities that are eligible to apply are:

Component A: Day Care Centers, including Article 47 centers and School Age Child Care programs looking to expand up to 25 additional slots within their existing license.

Component B: Small Day Care Centers, Group Family Day Care and Family Day Care home based providers that are looking to do at least one of the following:

  • expand program hours to include non-traditional hours of care, or
  • enroll at least one special needs child by six months after the date of their pre-approval letter, or
  • enroll at least one infant/toddler child by six months after the date pm their pre-approval letter.
I am interested in applying for this grant. What can I do to get started before the grant application portal opens?

Providers must contact their assigned OCFS regulator about changes to their existing license and initiate the process for updating program specifics before submitting their application. NYCDOHMH permitted Article 47 day care centers must speak with the borough office regarding permit changes.

Have more questions?

Download the complete FAQ:

Grant Application Process

The application process has four steps:

Step 1: Review the grant requirements.

Read the Request for Application (RFA).

Step 2: Determine which Component the program is eligible for.

Component A eligible programs: Day care centers, including Article 47 centers and School Age Child Care programs

Component B eligible programs: Small Day Care Centers, Group Family Day Care and Family Day Care home based providers.

Step 3: Determine the possible changes of the program.

Eligible programs must determine the expansion and/or changes to their program and/or the possibility of offering care to children with special needs or providing infant/toddler care.

Component A programs are able to apply to expand up to 25 additional slots within their existing license, with bonuses available for serving infant/toddlers and/or children with special needs. Awards will be final after any license changes are approved. If a program cannot expand their existing license to add additional slots, they will not be eligible for an award.

Component B programs are able to apply for a program-based award for providing one or more of the following:

  • expanding program hours to include non-traditional hours of care, or
  • enrolling at least one special needs child six most after the date of their pre-approval letter, or
  • enrolling at least one infant/toddler child by six months after the date of their pre-approval letter.

For questions regarding your licensed capacity and space limitations, please contact your regulator. Prior to applying, programs must have initiated any needed licensed amendment process with their OCFS regulator or NYC DOHMH borough office for updating changes to license.

Step 4: Submit a Grant Application.

Providers will complete an online application to provide details on their proposed program and how it will address child care deserts in their area of the State.

Find Child Care Deserts in NY

To view the detailed REDC Child Care Deserts map you can select the map below or visit bit.ly/cc_deserts.

Child Care Deserts Map Instructions: Child Care Deserts Map Instructions English | Child Care Deserts Map Instructions Spanish / Español

Child Care Deserts Map Instructional Video: Child Care Deserts Map Instructional Video English | Child Care Deserts Map Instructional Video Spanish / Español

(Supporting data used to create the Child Care Deserts map.)

Link to REDC Child Care Deserts application
REDC Child Care Deserts Map

Find Child Care Priorities in your Region

Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) collaborated with their REDC and other stakeholders to compile the child care priorities for their region. Potential applicants should review the priorities for their region to learn more about the needs of parents and families.

Resources for Understanding the Child Care Deserts Program

Program specific licensure questions should be sent to your OCFS regulator, local CCR&R, or NYCDOHMH for permitted Article 47 programs.

All communications to report errors or omissions in the procurement processor to request clarification of this RFA should cite the particular RFA section and paragraph number and must be submitted via email to InvestNYChildCareRFA2@ocfs.ny.gov with RFA#2 Existing (Existing Programs) in the subject line, along with your facility ID number.

If OCFS determines that a submitted question deals with program site or staffing ratio requirements for licensure, OCFS will direct your question to the applicable regulator or CCR&R or to NYCHOHMH for permitted Article 47 programs. 

Child Care Deserts Help Line

Contact us by phone:

Child Care Deserts Help Line: 844-863-9320

Hours:

M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.