We have exciting news! The New York State budget, passed last week, made historic investments in New York’s early childhood system. QUALITYstarsNY will receive $40 million funding to sustain and expand our services across the state. This unprecedented funding for our work comes from a $5 million continued investment from the state and $35 million funding from the federal stimulus provided to New York to support early childhood programs. The federal stimulus is a two-year grant that will be administered through the Office of Children and Families Services.
We are extremely grateful to the Governor, New York State legislators, and federal lawmakers for understanding the importance of high quality early childhood education in New York’s economic recovery. In order to return to work, families must have access to child care. As New York State’s Quality Rating & Improvement System for early childhood programs, QUALITYstarsNY is committed to providing the comprehensive support programs need to persevere in the wake of COVID-19. We provide individualized guidance and a range of supportive resources to help our participants improve their program quality based on best practices in early care and education. This support has been all the more critical to our participants during the pandemic. We are eager to help as many programs as possible to ensure more of New York’s children and families can access high quality early childhood education.
With this increased investment, QUALITYstarsNY will expand our services beyond the 4% of eligible early childhood programs that currently participate. After several years of flat funding, this funding will give us the opportunity to support more programs and build our infrastructure to accommodate the many programs and providers that need our services—now and into the future.
In addition to state and federal lawmakers, we want to thank our participants and the early childhood community for helping to spread the word about the importance of quality in early childhood education and the impact of QUALITYstarsNY. We look forward to keeping the early childhood community informed on our work as we embark on this new period of growth.