DSS to rewrite day care subsidy guidelines

NORWICH – A recent cut in state funding is forcing the Chenango County Department of Social Services to re-examine day care support subsidies provided to residents county-wide.

In October, the department learned of state funding cuts that allow it to offer financial assistance to parents who struggle paying for child care services. According to DSS Commissioner Bette Osborne, cuts in the New York State Child Care Block Grant – traditionally awarded to the county each year – are enough to invoke one of two options: increase the local share for day care assistance (to the tune of nearly $250,000 total); or change the level of income eligibility for county residents who receive child care assistance.

“It puts us in a tough situation,” said Osborne. “Right now, we are at the maximum income eligibility allowed by the state, which is 200 percent poverty ... We are also at the max percentage paid by the parent at 35 percent.”

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