Tompkins and Cortland County are in Phase 4 of Reopening effective 6/24/2020. Regions at Phase 4 include: Central NY, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and the Southern Tier.

Child care providers are encouraged to prioritize these workers as each phase unrolls.

Phase 4 Social Gatherings of 50 People and Indoor Religious Gatherings at 33% Capacity now permitted. This does NOT include child care programs.
Phase Four Not Open: Higher Education, Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment, Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment, Media Production.

Phase 3 Industries include: Restaurants/Food Services and Personal Care.

Phase 2 Industries include: offices, real estate, in-store retail, vehicle sales/leases and rentals, commercial building management, hair salons and barber shops.

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 More information about New York’s regionally phased approach can be found on the NY Forward website at or in the NY Forward document found here:
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
* NY Forward Loan Program (NYFLP)* Stimulus Checks
* NYS DOH Child Care and Day Camp Program Guidelines* Mutual Aid Tompkins, Neighbors Helping
Neighbors Facebook Group
* Unemployment Insurance* Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
* CDC Guidance for Child Care, Schools and Youth Programs* Tompkins County Government Health
Press News Page
* Disability Insurance* Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
* CDC Guidance for Schools and Day Camps* Tompkins and Cortland County COVID19
Case Statistics Graph
* NYS Paid Family Leave* Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA)
* NYS Business Reopening Safety Plan Template* NYS Health Insurance Marketplace
* Face Masks* General Information re: COVID19 from NYS
* Child Care Emergency Scholarship Fund
* Free Summer Meals
* Warm Line for Child Care Providers and Parents
* 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
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 We will connect you to programs that need staff or families that need child care.
Department of Health (DOH) Child Care and Day Camp Program Guidelines

Effective 6/26/2020, the NYS DOH updated their guidance for child care and day camp programs. Children can now be cared for in groups to 15 or fewer children/campers, excluding employees/staff, in a specific area (e.g. room) at any given time.

Read the Interim Guidance for Child Care and Day Camp Programs During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency 

Or the Summary:


Watch a recording of The DOH Guidance and Best Practices for Child Care webinar.

PLEASE NOTE: training credit will not be given for watching the recording, but the information is available as a resource.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Guidance for Childcare, Schools, and Youth Programs

Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Guidance for Schools and Day Camps

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.
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 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

  • 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
  • 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:

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
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.

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).

Free Summer Meals

Dryden, Groton, Ithaca, Lansing and Trumansburg School Districts are offering FREE summer meals for youth aged 18 and under.
Questions? Call 2-1-1

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:
* 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
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

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

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

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
  • 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
  • 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
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
UPDATE (6/16/2020)
  • 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
  • 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)
UPDATE (7/6/2020) – extended through 8/8/2020
Also see below regarding the new Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

To follow program changes directly, visit

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:

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


PPP Loan Forgiveness Application–paycheck-protection-program-loan-forgiveness-application

Tom Copeland webinar on how to apply for PPP and EIDL loans:

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).