Weekly Feature

2018-03-14 / Business

Jacobs, Gallivan push for increase in child care program

State Sens. Chris Jacobs and Pat Gallivan are attempting to secure $2 million in the fiscal year 2019 state budget for a child care program that would help low-income working parents.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Jacobs and Gallivan requested the funding for the Facilitated Enrollment Child Care Subsidy in Erie County. The program helps low- and moderate-income working parents attain affordable child care that meets regulatory safety standards.

“Accessing quality child care is often a huge impediment to people seeking or trying to keep full-time employment,” Jacobs said. “This program provides much needed assistance for parents transitioning to become more economically independent.”

“This program provides critical access to quality child care for parents who would not otherwise be able to afford it,” Gallivan said. “By assisting these families, we support hardworking parents who are often forced to choose between full-time employment and care for their children.”

The Facilitated Enrollment Child Care Program is operated by the Erie County Department of Social Services and the New York State Workforce Development Institute. It is designed to support parents who earn too much to qualify for the Erie County Child Care Subsidy but cannot afford quality child care on their own.

Since 2016, the WNY Women’s Foundation has championed Erie County’s inclusion in the program available in seven other counties and New York City.

The organization included increased funding of the Facilitated Enrollment program as its primary 2018 advocacy priority.

Last year the program was able to provide child care subsidies to more than 57 families and 84 children throughout Erie County.

Many more families are in need of the funding, however, and it is projected that the increase requested by Gallivan and Jacobs could serve more than 200 children in the upcoming fiscal year.

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