New York is set to spend $500 million for childcare programs and the workforce as part of the month-old state budget as state officials seek to further expand programs for families. 

The money is meant to encourage more people to  Gov. Kathy Hochul this week highlighted the child care funding, which is meant to provide support for 150,000 childcare workers and includes bonus payments of up to $3,000 for staff who are also in caregiving roles and recruit new workers. 

The money is meant to address a shortage of childcare workers in New York, which has been made worse in the years since the start of the COVID pandemic. 

"As the first mother to serve as Governor of New York, I know first-hand the impact that the lack of affordable child care can have on a family," Hochul said. "Childcare is truly at the foundation of New York's success, which is why it is central to our work to make the state more affordable and more livable. I'm proud of the investments in child care we have made in this Budget to make care more accessible for families, grow our workforce, and make a down payment on the future of our state."

The $500 million in the budget is coming from underused federal funds to provide grants for eligible child care programs. Applications are set to open on July 13. 

The budget also includes a $4.8 million plan for the employer-sponsored child care pilot program in which participating employers, employees and the state split the cost of child care. Families must earn between 85% and 100% of the state median income to qualify. 

And the budget included an employer tax credit for businesses that create new child care seats, a $25 million incentive.