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Broome County Urban League receives $750,000 to expand child care services

Phoebe Taylor-Vuolo
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined local elected officials and the Urban League to announce the new funding.

The Broome County Urban League will receive $750,000 in federal funds meant to expand local access to child care. U.S. Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York announced the funding last week.

The Urban League, whichoffers affordable day care and after-school care to about 200 children, said it plans to more than double its capacity to serve local families.

The nonprofit will use $600,000 to open 475 new child care slots, and $150,000 will go towards renovating its facilities.

The funding is meant to address “child care deserts” in the region.

“Over the past two years, Broome and Tioga counties have seen a shutdown of two-thirds of their child care programs,” Schumer said.

There are 475 regulated child care facilities in the Southern Tier, he added. That means the region only has the capacity to serve about 20% of children living in the area.

With better and more accessible child care, Schumer said parents and caregivers will be freed up to participate in the local economy.

“If we're going to have lots of new jobs, we're going to need lots of new workers. And what is one of the main things holding back the labor force? Lack of child care,” Schumer said.

The Urban League said it is working on offering services outside of traditional hours, for parents who work late nights or on weekends. The funds will also go towards tuition assistance for parents and caregivers.