Access to Subsidized Child Care in Monroe County, NY

Publication Date: October 2007

Publisher: Center for Governmental Research Inc.

Author(s): Donald Pryor; Scott Sittig

Research Area: Social conditions

Keywords: Children & Youth Services; Human Services; Education

Type: Report

Coverage: New York


Between 2001 and early 2007 the average number of child care slots per month filled by Monroe County (NY) children receiving child care subsidies declined by about 38%, from about 13,575 to 8,400. The decline was fueled primarily by three factors: 1) Monroe County lowered the income eligibility rate from 200% to 140% of the poverty level in 2002, and recent decisions to gradually bring the eligibility threshold back up to 165% have had little impact on reversing the decline; 2) despite fewer applications for subsidies following the eligibility change, the proportion of denials rose to 50% in 2006 from 11% in 2001; and 3) there has been a significant drop (15%) in the number of county children needing child care.

CGR found the county, in early 2007, had approximately $5 million in accumulated unspent child care allocations from the state’s Child Care Block Grant. CGR’s recommendations address ways to strengthen the child care system and serve more low-income children in the future.