When the COVID-19 pandemic struck New York City, it came swiftly and had devastating consequences. Essential workers and child care providers took on the brunt of this impact as families struggled to access essential services during lockdowns, shutdowns, and quarantines. With the passage of the national Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act), the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) was finally able to distribute funds, but needed a way to identify thousands of workers and families, and get them the support they needed.
For this effort to aid and assist our child care providers and essential workers in New York City, OCFS turned to us for help.
Implementing this large-scale rapid-response effort presented considerable logistical challenges for both the NYC Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) Consortium as well as OCFS staff. All workers needed to undertake unfamiliar activities. OCFS itself had limited staff resources, and CARES initiative requirements were unfamiliar to many of the intended beneficiaries. Families needed to obtain verification of their status as essential workers, and child care providers needed to offer up weekly program attendance in new formats, prepare budgets for grant applications, and provide receipts for expenses. At the same time, CCR&R agencies and OCFS were dealing with the impact of the pandemic on their own staff.
Nevertheless, we were successful. Coordinating across the four member agencies, NYC CCR&R distributed over $25.9 million dollars in scholarships, grants, and supplies.
In the report, you’ll find:
- Stories from child care providers who struggled to access resources during the pandemic, and how NYC CCR&R came to their assistance.
- A breakdown of funds distributed to providers and essential workers, as well as a roadmap for how the Consortium administered this complicated distribution effort.
- Helpful infographics that display where and how resources were allocated, broken down between CARES 1, 2, and 3.
- Recommendations for how policymakers can work with agencies to respond to emergencies in the future.
We hope this report is helpful, and that you’ll reach out to contact us using the information below if you have any questions or needs.