Seward Announces Child Care Grants - Vital Support For Working Families

James L. Seward

August 20, 2009

CORTLAND, 08/20/09 – At the YWCA of Cortland County, Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that the 2009-2010 state budget includes, at his request, special funding to provide for essential child care programs for working families.

ENTITY                                                   PROGRAM                 AMOUNT
Cortland County Child Development        Options Scholarship         $18,000
Day Care Program, Inc.

YWCA of Cortland                                       Off-site childcare              $18,000

“The senate funding will help maintain these crucial child care programs that provide high quality care for the children of working families in Cortland and surrounding areas,” said Senator Seward. “Without these programs many parents would be forced to leave their jobs and instead access public services which are already stretched.”

Funding for the Cortland County Child Development Day Care Program will provide need-based tuition assistance to low and moderate income working families.  The sliding scale will enable working parents earning up to 400 percent of the poverty guideline to access and afford early care and education for their children.

“With Senator Seward’s assistance we are able to give families quality support and help children achieve milestones and prepare for later challenges,” said Elin Pantas, executive director Cortland County Child Development Day Care Program.

The grant for the YWCA of Cortland will help support two offsite child care centers, Learning Adventure and Here We Grow.  These centers are licensed to care for 135 children from the age of 6 weeks to 5 years.  The funding will help pay for rising staff costs, curriculum supplies and utilities.
“This funding is critical in keeping our centers open and in turn keeping our families working in and around Cortland.  We deeply appreciate the support from Senator Seward,” said Jami Bistocchi, childcare director YWCA of Cortland.

“Many of our families are struggling to make ends meet and these programs help lift some of the burden while giving working moms and dads peace of mind.  Beyond that, the fine teachers and staff members offer a nurturing and learning environment that will provide lasting benefits to these children and the greater Cortland community,” concluded Seward.