Essential workers in Buffalo and Western New York can get their share of $25 million to pay for childcare costs. This is great news for parents who have been working so hard in their essential roles throughout the pandemic. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement about the scholarships. Parents who are eligible can apply starting today, June 23, 2021.

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Governor Cuomo spoke about the importance of the jobs that essential workers do and why we need to support them,

"Essential workers have always been the backbone of our economy, they got us through the darkest hours of the pandemic and are playing a critical role in our reopening and recovery. These individuals went to work so others could stay home and we must continue to support them in every way we can. We are proud to provide these child care scholarships to our essential workers, giving them peace of mind that their children are safe so they can continue to show up to work each and every day and support their families."

Here are some examples of jobs that are considered essential:

-first responders
-health care providers
-pharmaceutical staff
-law enforcement
-firefighters
-transportation employees
-food delivery drivers
-grocery store workers

In order to be eligible, you will need to meet the following criteria:

- Be classified as an essential worker
- Have an income that is less than 300% of the federal poverty level, which is $79,500 for a family of four
- Have children aged six weeks through 12-years-old, who need childcare

You can get more information and access the online application here.

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