Saturday, June 25

Governor Hochul Highlights Historic Budget Investments in Early Childhood Education During Visit to Long Island School

Share

Governor Kathy Hochul has highlighted FY 2023 Enacted Budget investments in early childhood education during a visit to the Chestnut Street School in West Hempstead on Long Island. The Enacted Budget provides an additional $125 million to expand access to full-day pre-K for four-year-old children, creating approximately 17,500 additional pre-K seats statewide. Of this $125 million, $100 million was allocated by formula and $25 million will be awarded through a competitive process administered by the State Education Department.

With the additional funding for full-day pre-K provided by the FY 2023 Enacted Budget, Long Island will receive an increase of at least $26.8 million, providing access to more than 4,200 new seats. Nassau County will receive an increase of $14.7 million for pre-K, supporting more than 2,600 new seats, and the West Hempstead Union Free School District will receive an increase of $237,600, funding 44 new seats.

“It takes a village to raise a child, and in New York we are working to ensure parents and caretakers will have the resources they need to support their children,” Governor Hochul said. “Investing in the care and schooling of our youngest New Yorkers is crucial – they are at the most important stages of their lives for development and growth. The historic funding in the Enacted Budget will go a long way to provide quality pre-K, K-12 education and child care to families across the state. As a mother, I know how important these resources are not only for children, but for parents, too, and my administration will continue to invest in every stage of a child’s growth.”

In addition to a significant expansion of pre-K seats, the FY 2023 Enacted Budget includes a historic investment in child care. The Budget more than doubles the State’s investment in child care with $7 billion in funding over four years. Of this funding, $841 million is estimated to be allocated to Long Island. The income eligibility for subsidies is increased from 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to 300 percent, expanding access to more than half of young children in New York.

The Budget also expands access to high quality child care by increasing the child care market rate to include 80 percent of providers, broadening the child care options available to subsidy families while also increasing reimbursements for child care providers. The Budget also includes $343 million to support the child care workforce by providing stabilization grants to providers, with 75 percent of those grants dedicated to workforce supports, including wage increases, bonuses, tuition reimbursement, and contributions to staff retirement plans and health insurance costs. The Budget also includes $50 million in capital grants for child care providers to construct, rehabilitate or renovate child care facilities, further enhancing programs that serve children and their families.

The pre-K and child care investments complement a record level of school funding in the FY 2023 Enacted Budget. The Budget provides $31.5 billion in total School Aid for school year 2023, the highest level of State aid ever. This investment represents a year-to-year increase of $2.1 billion, or 7.2 percent, compared to school year 2022, including a $1.5 billion or 7.7 percent Foundation Aid increase, representing the second year of Governor Hochul’s three-year commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid.

Long Island will receive $4.1 billion in total School Aid, an increase of $457.6 million or 12.7 percent, including $2.8 billion in Foundation Aid, an increase of $406.7 million or 17.1 percent.

Nassau County will receive $1.6 billion in total School Aid, an increase of $222.3 million or 16.5 percent, including $1.0 billion in Foundation Aid, an increase of $186.8 million or 21.9 percent. Suffolk County will receive $2.5 billion in total School Aid, an increase of $235.3 million or 10.4 percent, including $1.8 billion in Foundation Aid, an increase of $219.9 million or 14.4 percent.

State Senator Todd Kaminsky said, “The research is clear: early childhood education pays dividends down the line, setting our students up for success. By bringing pre-K to many Long Island classrooms for the first time, we can foster the growth of our children in and out of the classroom and prepare our students for the demands of the 21st century and beyond. Importantly for our economy, parents will now be able to go to work, knowing that their kids are being well-cared for while reaping the benefits of a quality education.”

Assemblymember Judy Griffin said, “As a working mom with older children, I appreciate that Governor Hochul understands just how important UPK and reliable and affordable childcare are to parents in the suburbs. We both know that providing UPK not only benefits children and families but is vital to a thriving local economy. Long Island families need our help to make this a reality and I thank Governor Hochul for leading the way and making Childcare a top priority for hard-working families.”

Long Island Association President & Chief Executive Officer Matt Cohen said, “Child care is an economic development issue critical to the business community and the pandemic shined an even brighter light on its importance. Governor Hochul’s budget is a critical step forward in investing in more affordable, accessible and available child care so more parents can participate in the workforce and our children are given the tools necessary to lead their next generation.”

Bethpage Federal Credit Union SVP Corporate Affairs and REDC member Linda Arymn said, “Since Governor Hochul was Lieutenant Governor she has remained laser focused on expanding affordable child care access. Under her leadership, this year’s State Budget provided funding to add thousands of preK seats on Long Island – a critical investment in children, in families, in workforce development, and in our region’s economy. As New York’s first female Governor, no one understands this issue better and I thank Governor Hochul for fighting for Long Island families.”

Child Care Council of Suffolk Inc. Executive Director Jennifer Rojas said, “The Child Care Council of Suffolk was very happy to see the investments in child care in this year’s final budget. The expansion of child care assistance for working families will help thousands of Long Island children have access to safe and reliable child care. This expansion, in addition to the expansion of UPK will provide more families with options for their children while they work. The budget also recognized the struggle of child care providers, who were critical during the pandemic, with an increase in the market rates and a new round of stabilization grants. As a member of the Governor’s Child Care Availability Task Force, I look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to build on these gains and create a more equitable and stable early childhood system.”

Child Care Council of Nassau, Inc. Executive Director Joy Connolly said, “We’d like to thank Governor Hochul and the legislature for this incredible investment in children and families. The pandemic shined a much needed light on how crucial access to child care and pre k are for young children. Thousands of Nassau County families will benefit from these increased funds allowing our youngest citizens the strong foundation they deserve.”

Choice for All CEO and Coordinator of the Long Island Regional Technical Assistance Center for Pre-K and Early Childhood Education Jacob Dixon said, “We applaud Governor Hochul and the State Legislature in their leadership in Pre-K and child care across Long Island and the State. With our region’s over 1700 licensed child care providers, 124 school districts, 4 at-large home visiting programs and 3 BOCES, investment in Pre-K and child care is critical to ensure early learners have a bright path forward for New York. The landmark investments sets a strong direction for a comprehensive response and coordinated response to the academic and social-emotional needs of children across the State. We look forward to continuing working with the Governor and State Legislature to ensure every child on Long Island has access to a Pre-K seat, regardless of zip code or school district.”


Share

About Author

Leave A Reply