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Funding to Be Offered to Help Low-Income Parents Move Back Into Workforce

January 10, 2012 - The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and the State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) today announced New York has received $16.5 million in federal funding to help low-income parents pay for child care, allowing them to improve their skills and successfully enter the workforce.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded New York State $16.5 million in funding through the Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSET) Program to help Food Stamp recipients who are participating in an employment and training program pay for child care. FSET provides work-focused education and training and job placement services to low-income New Yorkers receiving Food Stamps.

"At a time when record numbers of households are receiving Food Stamps and the effects of a prolonged recession are being felt by so many, these funds are vital to supporting low-income families as they move back into the workforce," said OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin. "We are pleased to be able to partner with OCFS and local social services offices to ensure that parents can have safe and affordable child care as they work to enhance their readiness to successfully compete in the job market."

"We recognize the need for quality child care for parents and caregivers who are being trained to seek gainful employment opportunities, as well as those who are currently employed," said OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrión, Esq. "We are pleased to work in collaboration with OTDA to secure additional funds for low-income families in tough economic times, and are grateful that additional funding has been made available."

The child care assistance can continue for up to three months after a Food Stamp recipient secures a job. Parents will be able to secure child care for approximately 5,000 children in New York State as a result of this funding.

The funding will be made available to county departments of social services and New York City. They will be notified how to request funding. OTDA, which oversees the State's Food Stamp program, and OCFS, which oversees child care subsidies, will jointly review and approve the funding applications.

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