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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com
. We will connect you to programs that need staff or families that need child care.
NYS Business Reopening Safety Plan Template
(*Note: You are REQUIRED TO POST your completed plan in your program environment to be available for review by parents/staff…)
All child care programs are required to complete a business safety plan that identifies operations and procedures in lieu of COVID-19. Download a copy of the safety plan template
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 at all times when working with children and it is recommended that children over 2 in their care also wear them while at the child care facility/home. Although there is some mixed thought about face shields, they are currently acceptable by OCFS.
Click to review the CDC’s Do’s and Don’ts for Facemasks
Face Masks are now available at many grocery and general purpose stores. Handmade masks for adults and children are available from the following local vendors:
- Face shields allow the entire face to be viewable. This may be of particular importance for children participating in speech therapy. While still approved by OCFS, we are aware of mixed opinions re: their use to protect against COVID19 (7/22/2020).
- If you are a provider seeking face shields, we have some to distribute.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Face shields are available for purchase at Wegmans (perhaps other stores as well, let us know if you see them).
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
Information from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Child Care Emergency Scholarship Fund
The Child Development Council’s Emergency Scholarship fund is available to families that experience a financial emergency and are unable to pay their child care bills.
· To apply, contact the Council to request an application.
· Funds, pending application approval, are paid directly to the provider.
· 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.
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).
Free Summer Meals
Dryden, Groton, Ithaca, Lansing and Trumansburg School Districts are offering FREE summer meals for youth aged 18 and under. https://www.facebook.com/TompkinsChildNutrition/
Questions? Call 2-1-1
Family Support Services
Baby supplies are being offered to families in need via a drive thru service on Thursday afternoons in both Cortland and Tompkins Counties.
For more information and to sign up for support, please complete the form for your county:
* Supplies are limited and services are subject to change without notice.
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 email@example.com
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)
CARES 3 grant applications are now available ONLINE to child care programs in English and Spanish!
The online applications are accompanied by an instructional video that is a walk through of the application process. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 31, 2020 (or until funds are allocated). Click here to go to the CARES3 web page: https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare/nycares.php
Funds have been allocated for four grant opportunities:
Reopening/Restructuring for Remote Learning and Temporary Operating Grant (two grants in one application):
Twenty million dollars is allocated to provide grants for closed child care programs to reopen or restructure under new guidelines for social distancing. This may cover partitions, technology to support remote learning, broadband access, and cleaning and classroom supplies. An additional $28.6 million will provide grants for child day care providers to pay for half of the cost (up to $6,000) to re-open up to three classrooms in an effort to restore pre-pandemic enrollment. Temporary operating funds are phased out in the second and third months as the program’s enrollment increases.
*LEGALLY EXEMPT CHILD CARE PROGRAMS may apply for Reopening/Restructuring for Remote Learning Grant. These programs are ONLY eligible for cleaning and classroom supplies.*
CARES 3 Short Term Rental Assistance
20 million dollars is being made available for rental assistance for school-age child care programs that have been displaced from their current location due to COVID-19. Eligible programs may receive up to $2,000 in monthly rental assistance for four months. To be eligible, the School-Age Child Care program MUST be currently registered, MUST be being displaced from their school location due to COVID-19, and MUST have found an alternate site where they will operate an in-person school-age child care program. The alternate site MUST receive an emergency location waiver from OCFS. Programs may also use the funding for transporting children to the new location.
Child Care Scholarships for Essential Workers
Twenty million dollars is allocated to support child care scholarships for children of essential workers. Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others who are needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Child care costs will be covered for families of essential workers whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level – or $78,600 for a family of four – and will be paid up to market rate for each region statewide. * Please note: this grant application will be available soon. To receive an email when the application becomes available, go to the website and complete the online survey: https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare/nycares.php
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“
As of 7/31/2020, expanded unemployment benefits have ended. To find out about current unemployment benefits that may be available to you
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 https://hsctc.org/health-insurance-assistance/
- 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
pending a second cycle…
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
- Family child care providers can once again apply for a forgivable loan from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
Providers can apply for a forgivable loan of $1,000 per employee and count themselves as an employee. It’s called an EIDL “advance” loan. Apply here for this EIDL loan.
- Originally the EIDL program was a $10,000 forgivable loan. Because of the high demand for the program, it was quickly reduced to a $1,000 forgivable loan for each employee, with a provider able to count herself as an employee. We recommend caution with any loan program.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
To follow program changes directly, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program
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.
Changes in the law during the first week of June 2020 mean that now:
- “Take up to 24 weeks to spend the PPP money, up from 8 weeks.
- Spend up to 40% of the PPP money on non-payroll expenses, which include utilities (gas, electric, water, Internet, telephone), mortgage loan interest and rent. The previous law required providers to spend no more than 25% on non-payroll expenses.
- Rehire employees up until December 31, 2020 with no penalty if they can’t hire back staff before then because of COVID-19.
- Take up to five years to repay any money not spent, instead of the previous two years. Any money not spent on allowable expenses will become a 1% interest loan.
- Providers can still spend the PPP money before the end of the 24-week period and apply for loan forgiveness early. In fact, it makes sense to spend the money as quickly as possible to avoid a slow-down of the processing of loan forgiveness applications at the end of the year.
- Providers can now spend a minimum of 60% of the PPP money on payroll (75% under the old law).
- Under the new law, providers can spend up to 40% of the PPP money on non-payroll expenses over 24 months. Providers should have an easier time using the money for these purposes with 24 months to spend it.
- The PPP money is still forgivable and is not taxable income on 2020 taxes. Any money spent using PPP money cannot be claimed as a business deduction on 2020 taxes.”
- PPP funds should be reported as income if you are claiming Unemployment Benefits
- Resource: http://tomcopelandblog.com/new-changes-in-the-paycheck-protection-program
Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA)
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (P.L. 116-142) was signed into law on June
5, 2020. The law provides much needed flexibility for borrowers under the Paycheck Protection Program. Changes could help support the use of the PPP to more effectively support the business model for child care.
• More time to spend loan funds and still obtain forgiveness (24 weeks instead of 8 weeks)
• More flexibility to support payroll and fixed costs
• More flexibility in employee retention rules related to worker circumstances and market/public health factors.
Read a summary of PPPFA highlights that could help improve child care economic viability from the Committee for Economic Development (CED).