More than $340 million in federal funding is being made available to provide direct support for child care providers in New York under a second wave of grants to help stabilize the industry and its workforce, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced. 

The money is meant to aid providers who are licensed with the Office of Children and Family Services or have registered child care programs, New York City-permitted group day care organizations or enrolled legally exempt group child care programs. 

"This second round of stabilization funding represents an important opportunity and investment to help further stabilize the child care sector with specific investments in the workforce supports," Hochul said. "These new grants for child care providers will strengthen their infrastructure and support their workforce, who have been and continue to be critical to supporting our children."

Child care funding became a major source of concern for policymakers and elected officials during the COVID-19 pandemic as work and school lives were scrambled for kids and parents. At the same time, the cost of child care has soared for families in New York and around the country. 

The funding is meant to aid with recruitment and retention for the child care workforce in the state. At least 75% must be used for wage increases or bonuses, contributions toward health insurance costs, boosting staff retirement plans that would supplement employer contributions, reimbursement or supplement educational advancement or mental health supports and services. 

The remaining 25% of the funds can be used for other eligible expenses. The grant information can be found here.