First-of-its-kind online portal connects residents to child care assistance and streamlines provider certification to create a stronger child care community in Schenectady County.
Schenectady County announced the launch of “Schenectady County Cares”, a one-stop-shop for residents and families to connect with the services they need and depend on. As part of the launch, the county also debuted a new online portal – the first of its kind in New York State – that streamlines the child care assistance application process so families can apply when and where it’s convenient for them, in less time.
“Many parents and caregivers struggle to find safe, affordable child care. This has only intensified due to the pandemic, when many child care providers shut their doors or cut services due to staffing or other issues,” said Schenectady County Legislator Michelle Ostrelich, Chair of the Health, Housing & Human Services Committee. “We’re working to make child care assistance more accessible to our hardworking families by expanding eligibility and eliminating the need for paper applications and in-person processing. Our new online portal allows parents and caregivers to apply for child care assistance when it fits into their busy schedules.”
Expanded Eligibility for Child Care Assistance
Eligibility for child care assistance has been expanded to help more families meet their child care needs for employment, job searching or for working towards an educational, vocational or training program. A family of four with an annual combined household income of less than $83,250 is now eligible to receive child care subsidies. A full list of income standards is available at www.schenectadycountycares.com.
To access the new portal, users will be prompted to create an online account. This allows them to safely and securely apply for child care benefits through Schenectady County’s Department of Social Services. All required documentation can be uploaded to the portal, streamlining the process.
The portal is located at: www.schenectadycountycares.com.
Child Care Provider Certification
Schenectady County has also made it easier for providers to become certified to increase the number of placements available for families who qualify for child care assistance. This includes center- and home-based care providers, family members, close friends or other trusted caregivers.
Families, caregivers and providers who have questions about eligibility requirements, the online portal, or the application/certification process can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (518) 388-4739 for assistance.