Press Release

Democrats Ask State to Restore Child Care Funding with Stimulus Funds

Rochester, New York –February 23, 2009. Democrats in the County Legislature have called on Governor Paterson to restore Monroe County’s child care allocation by using a portion of an additional $100 million in Child Care Block Grant funding that has been appropriated to the State as part of the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In a letter to the Governor, Assistant Democratic Leader Carrie M. Andrews (D-Rochester) requested that the State use the increased child care funding to restore Monroe County’s child care funding to a level that would permit restoring the income eligibility threshold to at least 165% of the federal poverty level, but preferably to the state-wide standard level of 200% of the federal poverty level.

“By restoring funding to this critical program, we can begin to turn back the severe negative impact many of our County’s working families have had to endure in recent months. If we truly want to spur employment growth in our region, we must help provide a safe, affordable place for the children of lower-income, working parents to stay. Failing to address this critical need will only result in further challenges to our economy as parents are forced to choose between work and caring for their children,” said Legislator Andrews.

In 2008 the County reduced the income eligibility from 165% of the federal poverty level to 125% of the federal poverty level to compensate for a reduction in State aid. The State reduced the County’s child care aid due to the County’s multi-year failure to use all of its child care funding. Please find a copy of the letter to the Governor attached.