New enhancements aim to make childcare more accessible in Monroe County

Andrew Hyman
Updated: February 13, 2020 06:16 PM
Created: February 13, 2020 05:27 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A new effort to give families easier access to affordable childcare is kicking off in Monroe County.

On Thursday afternoon, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced three new enhancements to the county’s childcare subsidy program.

The enhancements include a reduction in the parent fee percentage for subsidized child care to 20%, the development of childcare

Eligibility certificates and the addition of a Community Navigator service.

According to Bello, the rate reduction would translate to more than $1.1 million in out-of-pocket savings total, with about $560 in annual savings per family. Former County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo had lowered the rate to 25% in 2019.

As for the navigator, the Department of Social Services would bring the position on board to help assist working parents with walking through the childcare application process and address any other childcare issues.

Bello says this will help break down barriers that could keep working parents away.

Lastly, the department would immediately begin offering parents access to the eligibility certificates. 

Bello says a parent could show the certificate to a provider of their choice, and be able to immediately begin care in order to start or keep their employment.

Childcare has been in an issue in the county, as recently highlighted in a report released in January by the Children’s Agenda, which called the situation a "crisis."

"Taken individually, any one of these initiatives would signal this administration's focus on ensuring that all families in Monroe County have access to quality, affordable childcare,” Bello said. “But together, these important enhancements will fundamentally move the needle when it comes to boosting Monroe County families.”

Bello says a request for a proposal on the navigator services will be released in the coming weeks.

Those looking for additional information or have any questions can call 585-753-6960 or go to the Monroe County website.

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