The Child Care Council of Westchester (CCCW) has announced the creation of the CCCW First Responders and Essential Workers Child Care Scholarship Fund for Westchester first responders and essential workers who are working during this pandemic and need help paying for child care. The fund was created with grants from The Westchester Community Foundation (a division of The New York Community Foundation), and the RXR COVID Relief Fund.
“Westchester's first responders and essential workers shouldn't be over-burdened by child care costs as they work to serve and protect others during this emergency,” said Kathy Halas, Executive Director of the Child Care Council of Westchester. “We’re so grateful that these grants from the Westchester Community Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund and RXR will allow us to respond immediately with much-needed financial assistance.”
To be eligible for the CCCW First Responders and Essential Workers Scholarship, a parent must reside in Westchester County, be a first responder/essential employee working outside the home, and have a gross household income below 85% of NYS State Median Income ($55,453 for a family of two, $68,501 for a family of three, $81,549 for a family of four, $94,597 for a family of five, and $107,645 for a family of six). RXR’s grant contributions have been reserved specifically for residents of New Rochelle.
Applications are being accepted now and most are reviewed within three days. For those who are approved, payments up to the NYS Market Rates for Westchester will be made directly to child care providers, typically within a week of submitting the paperwork. The scholarship is renewable on a week-to-week basis based on availability of funds and other criteria. The application and additional details can be found here: https://www.childcarewestchester.org/services/parents/paying-for-care.
Laura Rossi, Executive Director of the Westchester Community Foundation, said: “First responders and essential workers who are on the frontlines of the pandemic need reliable day care for their children. For too many, it’s just not affordable. The Westchester Community Foundation provided child care scholarships for low-income parents because we are confident the Council will ensure parents receive consistent, quality child care options. No parent should have to worry about their child’s welfare while at work.”
As part of the CCCW Scholarship application process, parents will also be required to apply for a subsidy through the Westchester Department of Social Services (DSS). For those approved, the CCCW Scholarship could help pay for care until those funds come through. The subsidy would then replace the scholarship, subject to ongoing eligibility. Parents not eligible for a DSS subsidy may still be considered for the CCCW Scholarship on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to its own scholarship, the Child Care Council will administer the New York State CARES scholarships announced by Governor Cuomo on April 23rd, for first responders and essential workers whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level. These scholarships are currently available through May 15th. CARES funding will also be used to purchase supplies for child care businesses statewide, including masks, gloves, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula and food. These will be available through the Child Care Council of Westchester, but procedures for acquiring and distributing these items have not been determined yet. Information will be posted on www.childcarewestchester.org as it becomes available.
“Westchester has many child care programs open for business to assist first responders and essential workers,” said Halas. “The CARES scholarships will ease the cost burden for women and men who are putting the well-being of our community ahead of their own. We are very grateful to Governor Cuomo and his administration for this support.”
Any Westchester parent who needs help finding or paying for child care during the Covid-19 pandemic is encouraged to call the Child Care Council and speak to a child care specialist. All services for parents are free, and the Council is maintaining a list of open providers. Call 914-761-3456 x140 and leave a message or visit www.cccwny.org.
About the Child Care Council of Westchester
The Child Care Council of Westchester is a private, nonprofit resource organization that champions the healthy development of children, families and communities by promoting quality early care and education. A unique, “one stop” agency for child care, the Council offers parent referrals, training, information, technical assistance, reports on the industry, and public education for parents, child care programs, governmental organizations and the business community. Since its inception in 1968, the Council has grown to become the premier authority on child care services throughout Westchester County. The Council recently attained Quality Assurance, establishing it as one of the nation’s leading Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs). The national recognition was awarded by Child Care Aware® of America.
About the Westchester Community Foundation
Westchester Community Foundation’s mission is to connect generous people to the causes they care about and invest in transformative ideas and organizations to improve lives and strengthen our community. WCF is a division of The New York Community Trust, one of the largest community foundations in the country, with assets of approximately $2.6 billion. www.
About RXR Realty and the RXR COVID Relief Fund
RXR Realty is one of the largest owners, managers, and developers of real estate and infrastructure in the New York metropolitan region. The RXR COVID-19 Relief Fund was created by RXR to support the immediate needs of the residents and organizations of New Rochelle directly impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis, as well as the eventual long-term recovery of the city.