Effective 5/15/2020, five regions can reopen Phase 1 industries: Central NY, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and the Southern Tier.

Tompkins and Cortland Counties meet the public health criteria required, and has been authorized by Governor Cuomo to begin Phase 1. Child care providers are encouraged to prioritize these workers as each phase unrolls. Phase 1 Industries include: construction, agriculture/forestry/fishing and hunting, retail (curbside or in-store pickup or drop off only), manufacturing and wholesale trade. If you are interested in learning about what industries will be opened during other phases, please visit https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase. More information about New York’s regionally phased approach can be found on the NY Forward website at https://forward.ny.gov/ or in the NY Forward document found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NYForwardReopeningGuide.pdf

Woman and girl counting w fingers
Council ServicesLocal, City & County ResourcesState ResourcesFederal Resources
* Child Care* Tompkins County/City of Ithaca
Collaborative Small Business Resilience Fund
* Unemployment Insurance* Stimulus Checks
* Face Masks* Mutual Aid Tompkins, Neighbors Helping
Neighbors Facebook Group
* Disability Insurance* Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
* CARES Child Care Scholarship for Essential Personnel * Tompkins County Government Health
Press News Page
* NYS Paid Family Leave* Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
* Child Care Emergency Scholarship
* Tompkins and Cortland County COVID19
Case Statistics Graph
* NYS Health Insurance Marketplace* NY Forward Loan Program (NYFLP)
* Warm Line* General Information re: COVID19 from NYS
* Family Support Services
* Baby Supplies
* Postpartum Group
* Lactation Support

Council Services

Child Care Resource and Referral

Child care is considered an essential service.
  • Most child care centers in Tompkins and Cortland Counties have closed temporarily, except for a few that have reduced group sizes and are caring for children of essential personnel.
  • Family Child Care and Group Family Child Care programs have smaller numbers of children and many currently have openings for new children.
If you need child care

Call us at (607) 273-0259 or email info@childdevelopmentcouncil.org.
We will return your call or email as soon as possible with referrals to child care providers who have current openings.

If you work for a child care program and are seeking work
If you work for a child care program that is closed and are interested in providing care for essential personnel, please contact us at (607) 273-0259 or email info@childdevelopmentcouncil.org. We will connect you to programs that need staff or families that need child care.
Face Masks

Effective 4/17/2020 at 8 p.m., face coverings are required to be worn when you are in public and cannot be 6′ from other people. Children under 2 years of age should not wear face masks.

Child care providers are required to wear face masks when working with children and it is recommended that children in their care also wear them. The Child Development Council is working to gather a supply of face masks for child care staff and children.

At this time, masks can be purchased from the following local vendors:

  • Sew Green (on a donation basis)
    Email order only by contacting ithacasews@gmail.com.
    Small orders accepted for individuals and households.
    Receipt in about 5 days.
  • Tompkins Mask Makers Collective

    * Cloth masks are $10 each and go down with orders over 20
    * Fitted Masks with Clear Window Over the Mouth are $14 each and go down with orders over 5
    * The mask makers are also working on a clear vinyl hat for children! Contact them for more information.

Make your own face mask using an old t-shirt, a bandana or other similar sized cloth – examples can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

CARES Child Care Scholarship for Essential Personnel

CARES Child Care Scholarship for Essential Workers at No Cost!

If you are an essential worker and must work outside your home, you may be eligible for the CARES Child Care Scholarship. This allocation of funding for child care for essential workers comes to the state from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Payments extended through 6/30/2020.

Income eligible* essential workers using a regulated child care provider will receive a scholarship for the cost of care as long as the funds to support it are available.  All OCFS regulated providers who are providing child care for essential workers are eligible to participate in this new program. We can connect you to a program if you need a referral, or you can use the CARES Scholarship to pay the regulated provider you are already using. 

To APPLY: Fill out the Parent Survey, then we will be in touch. 

*At or below 300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines

Family Size Household Salary Eligibility (Maximum)
2 $51,720
3 $65,160
4 $78,600
5 $92,040
6 $105,480
7 $118,920
8 $132,360
Child Care Emergency Scholarship Fund

Requests for child care payment funding because of an emergency will continue to be received and reviewed. The Council is temporarily suspending our normal eligibility criteria for Emergency Scholarship funding to help support families who are experiencing unusual circumstances paying for child care at this time such as simply not being able to pay your child care bill, having to pay your regular provider while they are closed and a current provider so you can continue working. The Emergency Scholarship Fund will pay up to $200 per week for a maximum of 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, if there is still a need for funding, the application will be reviewed again and further funding may be possible.

To apply, contact the Council to request an application at (607) 273-0259 or info@childdevelopmentcouncil.org Funds, pending application approval, are paid directly to the provider. You will be responsible for any balance due.

For families with ongoing financial needs, first contact the Department of Social Services (DSS) at (607) 274-5219 and apply for child care subsidy. Subsidy pays a portion of your child care costs while you work, seek work, or are enrolled in an approved program. Income eligibility for child care subsidy is as follows:

Tompkins DSS Child Care Subsidy Income Eligibility Standards

June 1, 2019-May 31, 2020

     Family Size                                     Yearly Gross Income
1                                                   $24,980
2                                                   $33,820
3                                                   $42,660
4                                                   $51,500
5                                                   $60,340
6                                                   $69,180
7                                                   $78,020
8                                                   $86,860

(Each additional person: +$4,420)

Warm Line
Call our Warm Line, a free, confidential and anonymous telephone guidance service for parents and child care providers. Council staff are here to listen and help you find solutions to questions about child development, behavior, how to support a child’s adjustment to child care (or support a parent being home all the time).
Information from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Updates and announcements, including correspondence from the Division of Child Care Services at OCFs can be found on their site at https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare/

Family Support Services

Baby Supplies
Baby supplies are being offered to families in need via a drive thru service on Thursday afternoons.
For more information and sign up for support, please complete this form: https://forms.gle/wqKeN6i4Sv4gzwng7.
* Supplies are limited and services are subject to change without notice.
Postpartum Group
Our postpartum groups are still being held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from noon-1pm. These meetings are now being held via Zoom. To receive meeting link and join meeting, send an email to amanda@childdevelopmentcouncil.org
Lactation Support
Our Certified Lactation Counselor is available for consultations by phone and virtual methods. Please call our office at (607) 273-0259 and our Certified Lactation Counselor will get back to you as soon as possible.

Local, City and County Resources

Tompkins County/City of Ithaca Collaborative Small Business Resilience Fund

The Ithaca Tompkins County COVID-19 Small Business Resilience Fund (SBRF) will provide forgivable loans in the amount of up to $5,000 for working capital to micro-enterprises and small businesses in Ithaca and Tompkins County experiencing hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans will carry a zero-interest rate, an 18 month term, and be forgiven for businesses open and in operation on December 1, 2020 that have complied with the program rules. Get all the info on the City of Ithaca website at https://www.cityofithaca.org/658/COVID-19

Mutual Aid Tompkins, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Facebook Group
Tompkins County Government Health Press News Page


Tompkins and Cortland County COVID19 Case Statistics Graph (updated daily)


State Resources

Unemployment Insurance

The CARES Act expands unemployment benefits to self-employed and others who have previously been unable to access benefits, including home-based child care providers. Short-term compensation for workers with reduced hours has also been expanded. Important things to know about benefits follow.

  • NYS passed a law waiving the seven-day waiting period
  • An additional $600 per week in temporary federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will be added to an individual’s weekly benefit amount for a maximum of 39 weeks
  • The $600-per-week pandemic compensation does not impact your eligibility for income-based health insurance like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • File claims based on first letter of last name: A-F (Mon), G-N (Tues), O-Z (Wed), missed filing day should file Th-Sat
  • Once you get your claim is started, it’s retroactive
  • Call 1-888-209-8124 (M-Th 8a-7:30p, Fri 8a-6p, Sat. 7:30a-8p or visit labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm
  • Guide for Self-employed individuals
NYS Temporary Disability Insurance

Employers are required to provide employees with disability benefits coverage for an off-the-job injury or illness to replace lost wages. While there is usually a seven-day waiting period for benefits, it has been waived for employees affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak. Benefits often cover 50% of an employee’s wages, but were increased to equal 100% of an employee’s weekly wages, capped at $2,884.62 per week, for those affected by coronavirus. Employees can find the forms needed to file it claim and where to file it through the state Workers Compensation Board.

NYS Paid Family Leave

In response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York State, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has guaranteed workers job protection and financial compensation in the event they, or their minor dependent child, are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19. See Guidance For Obtaining An Order For Mandatory Or Precautionary Quarantine.

Most employees will get financial compensation by using a combination of benefits, which may include new employer-provided paid sick leave (depending on the size of the employer), Paid Family Leave and disability benefits. These benefits are not available to employees who are able to work through remote access or other means.

Paid Family Leave can also be used to care for a family member who has contracted COVID-19, which qualifies as a serious health condition.

NYS Health Insurance Marketplace

New York State has extended a special enrollment period until May 15th to apply for insurance through the NYS Marketplace.  Due to loss of (or reduced) income you may be eligible for Medicaid, Essential Plan, Subsidized Qualified Health Plans, or Child Health Plus (under 19).

There are many ways to apply:

  • NY State of Health Marketplace https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/
  • Call 1-855-355-5777
  • Call a local certified navigatoror enroller:
    • Human Services Coalition – call 607-273-8686, press 1 and leave a message
      call 2-1-1 (1-877-211-8667)
      schedule phone appointment at
    • Southern Tier Independence Center– call 1-855-478-4262
    • Fidelis Care Health Insurance– call plan representative at 607-222-5739
General Information About COVID19 from NYS


Federal Resources

Stimulus Checks

Coronavirus stimulus payments, termed “Economic Impact Payments” will be given out in the next couple of weeks. The stimulus payment is technically a tax credit, it is important to realize that they are taxable and could reduce your 2020 tax refund.

  • The payments are automatic for most taxpayers. No further action is needed by taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019.
  • If you filed electronically, the payment will be deposited into your bank account. If you paid by mail, you will get a check in the mail
  • Single person will receive $1,200
    Adjusted gross income must be less than $75,000 (2019 Form 1040, line 8b, or 2018 Form 1040, line 7)
  • Married couple will receive $2,400 (married filing separately will ea get $1,200 separately)
    Adjusted gross income must be less than $150,000
  • If you have a child age 16 or under as of 12/31/2019, you will receive an additional $500 per child
  • If your child is age 17 or older and is eligible to be treated as a dependent, you will not receive the $500 and s/he cannot receive the $1,200
  • If your child is age 17 or older and is not eligible to be treated as a dependent, s/he will receive the $1,200
  • The Treasury plans to open a website for taxpayers to update their direct deposit information if it was not included on their most recent return. If you have not filed yet, do so asap.
  • IF YOU FILED A 2018 or 2019 return or receive SSI benefits, you don’t need to take any further action to receive your check.
  • Payments will be available through 2020
  • For more information visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
UPDATE (5/15/2020)
  • At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.To follow program changes directly, visit https://www.sba.gov/page/disaster-loan-applications

The CARES Act and following funding provide for the payment of EIDL to ensure that small businesses, including the self-employed and nonprofits, can have capital during the disaster to allow them to continue operating.

Applicants can get up to $10,000 in a forgivable loan, which may be used for providing paid sick leave, maintaining payroll, and making rent or mortgage payments.

  • Apply online through the SBA – not through your bank
  • Call 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov
  • You can receive $10,000 as an emergency cash advance that can be forgiven if spent on items above. If you want more than $10,000 or you want to use the money for other purposes, the interest rate is 3.75% over 30 years
  • The SBA may ask for more financial information after you submit your application
NY Forward Loan Program (NYFLP)

The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) information quoted from:

“The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.  The NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income.  The NYFLF is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with guidelines (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan.

Pre-application for the New York Forward Loan Fund will be open on May 26, 2020 at Noon Eastern Daylight Time. Priority will be given to industries that have been reopened. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen.

  • Small businesses and nonprofits must employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees;
  • Small businesses must have gross revenues of less than $3 million per year;
  • Nonprofits must provide direct services and have an annual operating budget of less than $3 million per year; and
  • Have not received a loan from either SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 in 2020.

Click here for more information on how to apply

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
UPDATE (5/15/2020)
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides low interest loans of up to $10 million to help small businesses with 500 employees or less, nonprofits or veterans’ organizations cover expenses for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. Up to 100% of the loan is forgivable. Applicants must apply before June 30, 2020.

  • Offers a forgivable loan that can be used to replace 8 weeks of lost profit, employee wages and other expenses, including:
    business utilities, mortgage loan interest, rent and health insurance premiums
  • Loan can be for up to 2.5 months of lost profit (but only first 8 weeks are forgivable)


  • Community Bank, NA
  • The Elmira Savings Bank, FSB
  • M&T Bank
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Citizens Bank
  • CFCU Community Credit Union



PPP Loan Forgiveness Application