Assemblywoman Sarah Clark’s Child Care Direct Deposit Bill Signed into Law by Governor Hochul

Rochester, NY Today we celebrate Governor Hochul signing Assembly Bill A.5840-A into law. This legislation allows social services districts to pay child care providers by direct deposit for any subsidized child care funds owed. Currently child care providers are paid by paper check through the mail, which can often delay payments four to six weeks.This process is burdensome for our providers who are already operating on extremely thin margins. Assemblywoman Sarah Clark met with CSEA and some of their member providers earlier this year, heard about this issue and immediately took action, submitting legislation to fix the problem.

Assemblywoman Sarah Clark said, “Far too often our child care providers work on some of the slimmest margins and we don’t need to exacerbate their struggles. Right now providers must navigate an outdated process requiring subsidy payments to be issued in paper check form, arriving in the mail four to six weeks after submission. Our providers simply cannot afford to wait, particularly as they are also recovering from the pandemic. Allowing direct deposit for child care providers will ensure that those caring for our children have the resources they need in a timely manner, and will allow them to focus instead on providing the highest quality of care for our children.

When CSEA members and local child care providers brought this issue to my attention, introducing this legislation was a no brainer. This is one common-sense solution that will help make providers whole, and save the state money. As we continue to address the many other challenges our child care ecosystem faces, supporting families, providers, and children must be the priority. Thank you to Governor Hochul, our child care advocates, and stakeholders for bringing this common sense solution into state law. I look forward to working with you, and my colleagues in the state legislature this upcoming session to achieve our goal of true universal child care for all.”

Governor Hochul said, “Child care is key to our economic recovery from this pandemic, and this measure will expedite the delivery of funds to child care providers and alleviate the financial stress caused by potential delays in receiving subsidy payments. We can't have a full economic comeback without boosting child care, and this legislation is another step in a series of bold initiatives I am leading to shore up child care programs statewide and to make quality, affordable child care available to all parents who need it."

“I’d like to thank Governor Hochul for signing this legislation into law and to Assemblymember Sarah Clark and Senator Jabari Brisport for championing it in the Assembly and Senate,” said Pam Wells, President, CSEA/VOICE Local 100A. “This new law, which CSEA/VOICE Local 100A has supported for years, will help ensure that providers are paid on time and without delay. With everything providers have gone through during the pandemic, it is refreshing to see that the Governor, Assembly and Senate have found a way to alleviate at least one obstacle that child care providers are facing.”

Heidi Brandt, a Group Family Child Care Provider from Saugerties, New York said, “It is hard enough running a home based family child care program in New York State without having to deal with reimbursement checks that are late or never arrive. This new law will help ensure that I am paid in a timely manner so I can pay my staff and other expenses on time. We have talked about giving child care providers the option for a direct deposit for years, and we are finally on the cusp of making it happen. This will benefit thousands of small home basedproviders like myself and will allow us to focus on what we do best – caring for children.”

A.5840-A was introduced by Assemblywoman Clark in February 2021 and unanimously passed the Assembly in May 2021. The companion bill in the Senate was carried by Senator Jabari Brisport (D-Brooklyn)