April 20 Update: QUALITYstarsNY has created a new Child Care Deserts Grant webpage with more information about the grant requirement that providers awarded a Child Care Deserts Grant participate in Start with Stars, a project of QUALITYstarsNY. Visit the new webpage to submit questions about QUALITYstarsNY and Start with Stars from individuals interested in applying for the OCFS Child Care Deserts Grant. QUALITYstarsNY will use these questions to create informational materials and develop Information Sessions to share more about QUALITYstarsNY and Start with Stars with those interested in the Child Care Deserts Grant. Questions should pertain to the Grant requirement that all awardees apply to participate in Start with Stars. QUALITYstarsNY cannot answer questions about the Child Care Desert Grant application or selection process. Please refer to the Invest in New York – Child Care Deserts Grant homepage on the OCFS website for details about the grant.

We also encourage you to attend a general Information Session to learn more about QUALITYstarsNY and Start with Stars. We will also be offering Information Sessions in May specifically for providers interested in the grant, which will be announced shortly.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is offering a grant opportunity to help providers open new child care programs in their region. The Invest in New York Child Care Deserts Grant program will make funding available to newly licensed, registered or permitted child care programs in the state’s child care deserts. An area is considered a child care desert if it does not have enough licensed and registered child care slots to serve the children who live there.

OCFS and the Council on Children and Families (CCF) have created an online map illustrating the locations of New York State’s child care deserts, which are the areas eligible for funding under the request for applications (RFA).

The application for the grant will be open April 11, 2022 until May 19, 2022.

Check the OCFS website for more information.


  • All applicants are required to complete the OCFS Child Day Care Orientation BEFORE applying for the grant.
  • Programs applying to become an NYC DOHMH Article 47 day care center are required to attend a pre-permit orientation before applying for a new permit.
  • Start with Stars: All providers who receive the grant will be expected to participate in QUALITYstarsNY’s Start with Stars program. Start with Stars is an initiative designed to provide foundational support to help set programs that are just starting out on the path to providing high quality early childhood education opportunities. Programs participating in Start with Stars have access to the same individualized support, materials and resources, and professional development opportunities available to QUALITYstarsNY participants — all at no cost to programs.

Download the informational flyer in English and Spanish/Español.

Questions for OCFS?

Call the OCFS Child Care Deserts Help Line: 844-863-9320

Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.