We are VOICE/CSEA: a union made up of and working for family childcare providers from across New York State, organizing for power to take on challenges facing us and the children and families we serve.
Watch Video Training on New Regulations on OCFS Website
OCFS posted a video training that reviews the newly adopted child care regulations on the OCFS website. Major changes to the adopted Family Child Care and Group Family Child Care regulations are discussed in detail. The regulations will go into effect on May 1, 2014. We encourage you to make time to watch the video as soon as you can to prepare for the implementation of the new regulations in the spring.
View the Video Conference
New Depreciation Rule for 2014 Will Save Providers Time and Money!
The IRS has recently announced a relaxing of depreciation rules that will benefit all family child care providers.
Starting in 2014, providers can avoid depreciating items costing $500 or less. Instead, they may deduct them in one year.
This change will result in higher business deductions in 2014. It will also make it easier to avoid the time consuming challenge of trying to understand the complex depreciation rules and calculating the correct depreciation amount.
Read the rest of the article on Tom Copeland's Blog
Cuomo vetoes bill improving notification of child care subsidy loss
ALBANY – Legislation to help give more timely notice to lower-income, working parents that child care subsidies they receive are being eliminated or reduced was vetoed Thursday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The veto surprised advocates who saw the bipartisan legislation, which sailed through both legislative houses this spring, as a modest request to give families more time to find alternatives if they are in jeopardy of losing benefits to hire child care help so they can work.
The bill, sponsored by two Buffalo lawmakers, was largely fueled by the problems that arose when the parents of 1,500 children in Erie County were given 10 days’ notice that eligibility requirements were being toughened by the county and that they were losing their child care assistance.
But Cuomo, in his veto message, said the legislation, which was intended to require counties to notify the state 60 days in advance of changes that might drop child care benefits, would not work because there was no specific mandate that providers notify the parents who use their services for child care.
Read the rest of the Buffalo News article
Federal and State Draft Regulations Comments
In May, the US Department of Health and Human Services published new draft regulations for the Child Care Development Fund. The Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) provides money to states for child care assistance - subsidies to working parents and program quality improvements. The new draft regulations will raise the standards that providers must meet in order to serve children receiving a child care subsidy. Raising standards (more training requirements, monitoring, background checks) costs money. No new money will be provided to states or providers to meet these higher standards.
The federal government is accepting comments until August 23, 2013.
OCFS issued updated licensing regulations for family and group family child care programs.
Suffolk County Raises Parent Eligibility
Suffolk County raises parent eligibility again after VOICE members and parents mobilized last year to get the local government to make child care a priority. Under the revised eligibility requirements, parents can make up to 150 percent of the federal poverty line, up from 125 percent announced in April.
Last spring, we joined County Executive Bellone to announce an increase in parent eligibility to 125% after the County budgeted 3.5 million for child care assistance. The last increase allowed the County to serve as many as 700 additional children. Since VOICE/CSEA leaders and members took action in July 2012, child care for working families is a priority again in Suffolk County.
Read Newsday Article
Watch News 12 Long Island Story
Watch News 12 Long Island Press Conference Clip
Gov. Dayton Signs Child Care Representation Act
Bill grants largest expansion of worker rights in a generation
(St. Paul, MN) – On Friday, Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Child Care Representation Act, which gives in-home child care providers who receive state subsidies the right to vote to join a union. For many child care providers, it has been an 8-year struggle to win the same union rights enjoyed by nurses and teachers. The new law also allows home health care workers to form a union, granting the largest expansion of collective bargaining rights in a generation.
Read Press Release
Thousands of Minnesota Child Care Providers Win Bargaining Rights
Approximately 11,000 family child care providers in Minnesota today won a historic legislative victory in their years-long campaign to win collective bargaining rights when the House voted to approve landmark legislation allowing them to have their own union.
The House action followed last week’s Senate vote for the bill. Gov. Mark Dayton vowed to sign the legislation if it reached his desk.
Visit AFSCME MN Council 5 website for more information: http://afscmemn.org/
CCPT member Danette Allrich-Osano of St. Paul celebrates the passage of historic legislation Monday that extends collective bargaining rights to family child care providers and personal care attendants. (Photo courtesy AFSCME Council 5)
Free Online Training from Tom Copeland
VOICE/CSEA now offers free on-line training covering the business side of child care: record keeping, contracts, marketing, legal, insurance, and money management. The training is designed for both experienced and new providers to help you be more successful as a business.
You can complete the training modules from your home at your convenience. Each completed module counts for 1.5 training hours. You will receive concrete practical information on how to reduce taxes, reduce conflicts with parents, increase enrollment, reduce risks and better manage money.
The training is written by the nation's leading expert on the business side of family child care, Tom Copeland.
For more information call our Child Care Resource Center 1-877-483-2732
To take these courses: https://www.csealearningcenter.org/help/login.cfm?CCA=1
Take Action: Share Your Story
Because child care funding comes from local, state and federal governments, our elected officials at all levels of government need to hear how important child care subsidies are to you and your family. We hope you can make time to meet in person with your local Assemblymember and state Senator before March 15, 2013. Your story may be shared with elected and appointed government officials in your County, Albany, and Washington DC.
Visit the Subsidy Stories page to read stories and invite parents and others to share their story.
Child Care In Crisis - A report from The Empire Justice Center
Many counties no longer have sufficient funding
to provide child care subsidies for families who earn less than
200% of poverty ($38,180 for a family of 3), as New York State
law allows. In order to cope, social services districts are lowering
eligibility and discontinuing the subsidies of low income working
families who would otherwise be eligible if sufficient funds were
Read the rest of the report
Important Market Rate Survey Information
OCFS conducts a Market Rate Survey every two years to collect data about private pay parent fees. This information is used to establish DSS ceiling market rates.
We urge you to make time to complete the Market Rate Survey that you received in the mail. Keep the survey handy so that if you are called and invited to participate, you can answer questions that pertain to you. Not every provider is called.
Watch OCFS Video on the Market Rate Survey
New Child Care Services Regulations
New Program Integrity Regulations added to the Child Care Subsidy Regulations. These regulations promote the fiscal integrity of the Child Care Subsidy program by establishing a clear regulatory basis for holding child care providers accountable for committing fraud.
Read The Regs
Child Care Market Rates 2011-2013 Issued
The new market rate regulations were adopted as a final rule on September 28, 2011 and became effective on October 1, 2011.
Read The LCM
New Market Rate Video for 2011
NYS OCFS sets maximum reimbursement rates for child care subsidies every 2 years. The purpose of these rates is to ensure that parents receiving subsidized child care have equal access to child care as parents not receiving subsidies.
Watch The Video
New Fees for
The change in the law now requires that prospective day care providers and applicants for employment in day care programs be charged a $25 fee for any database checks conducted through the SCR.
Read the Memo
How will my licensor or registrar decide whether I can accommodate additional children?
Before enrolling additional children, your OCFS Regional Office must complete an inspection to determine that your program can accommodate additional children. OCFS issued the following guidance to licensors and registrars regarding inspections to approve additional enrollment.
"The method to determine whether a provider has adequate space to care for an increase in capacity or additional children under the age of two has not changed. Licensors and registrars will use the guidelines and methods already in place. As you know, caring for infants includes having adequate space for napping, diapering, dressing, eating and playing. Infants need a quiet, calm environment away from too much stimulation from older children. Toddlers need space to be active learners and develop motor competence and sensory motor intelligence. School age children need a safe and secure environment that fosters their growing independence. Licensors/registrars must assess the needs of the children in care with the environment in which they will receive that care. There is no standard set that would include a numerical formula such as square footage requirement. Licensors/registrars can ask questions of the provider such as: where will children nap? Play? Study? Eat? Napping mats or cots can be one tool a licensor/registrar may use in assessing a program's space, but it should not be the only consideration. Assess the program's activities against the overall space needed to perform those activities. Licensors/registrars may also recommend that a provider open up a space by removing a piece of furniture or assessing what space may already be available in the home to be utilized for child care."
Governor SIGNS A.8827A/S.3895B - OCFS Issues Guidance on Implementation
Governor Paterson signed A.8827A/S.3895B on Wednesday, June 16. Since the late 1990's, home-based child care providers across New York have been working to secure the changes to ratios that are included in this bill. We made securing ratio changes a top priority when we sat down to negotiate with OCFS. Finally, the Bill that enables OCFS to implement the changes we negotiated has been passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor. Our e-mails, phone calls, the on-going work of our CSEA lobbyists in Albany and our focused persistence in the face of the challenges were the combined ingredients of our success.