NEW YORK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Noting how hard it is for a working parent to make sure their child always has care, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a significant investment Monday morning.

Nearly $70 million in federal funds have been designated for new childcare providers, Hochul announced.

The programs receiving this grant money, which is being administered by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, are in areas where there is a need for more child care.

Hochul’s office used the phrase “child care desert,” which was defined as “a census tract where there are three or more children younger than five for each available child care slot, or there are no available child care slots in the tract.” According to her office, “more than 60 percent of New York State is considered a child care desert.”

MORE | See a map of child care deserts in New York here.

“As a young mom, I had to leave my job because we couldn’t access affordable child care,” the Governor wrote on Twitter.

Hochul’s office says the money will go to newly licensed, registered or permitted programs. On the funding itself, Hochul tweeted “This will expand affordable options & deliver needed relief to confront higher costs of living.”

Getting into specifics, the Governor said this will create more than 12,000 new openings for parents looking for childcare. Nearly 600 of those slots will be for infants and toddlers.

27 awardees in Western New York are set to receive a cumulative total of $4.1 million, while 24 awardees in the Finger Lakes will get $4 million.

Watch the full announcement in the video player above.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.