SUNY Canton Receives $2.3 Million for New Child Care Center


The college continues to address a critical shortage in Canton and the greater north country.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced SUNY Canton will receive $2.3 million for a new on-campus child care center. The funding was included in a larger $15.6 million State investment to expand child care access at the State University of New York and the City University of New York.

"Expanding high-quality, affordable child care options is an essential piece of creating a more equitable and accessible higher education system for New Yorkers,"Governor Hochul said. "My administration remains committed to ensuring all parents have access to quality child care, and this funding is a critical step toward ensuring parents have the support they need to pursue a quality education and build a better future for themselves and their families."

A student assists a small child with developmental activities

SUNY Canton is currently in beginning phases of planning the new center on campus, which will serve between 50 and 70 children. The center would serve the college’s faculty and staff, local families, and SUNY Canton students who have children. SUNY has made expanded child care facilities a high priority, with the eventual goal of having one available at every campus.

“This is a first critical step in the process of building the new facility, and we thank SUNY and Governor Hochul for their support in this important endeavor,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “We will be working to secure the rest of the funds needed for this $8 million project over the next year in an effort to make this happen as quickly as possible.”

Once built, the college plans to partner with The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence to staff and run the center. The organization wants to provide further assistance in St. Lawrence County. As of now, some families must travel to Watertown to access early intervention services.

“We’ve been working with SUNY Canton over the past several years to explore partnership opportunities,” said Lynn M. Pietroski, Chief Operating Officer of The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence. “This helps address the need for child care and services. The college has so many applicable degrees that we thought it would be a wonderful fit.”

SUNY Canton is home to a two-year Early Childhood program and a four-year Early Childhood Care and Management program which makes it an ideal environment for the new center, according to Professor Maureen P. Maiocco, Ed.D.

“An on-campus child care center will provide an educational setting for SUNY Canton early childhood undergraduates. Internships, teacher preparation, and applied learning opportunities will be a part of the mission of the Center. The Center will include 2-3 observation rooms adjacent to designated classrooms for the purposes of undergraduate child development study and research.”

Early plans for the center include Early Childhood program offices and a child study lab to allow students to get practical, hands-on experience. The plans also include opportunities for students from the college’s Business, Management, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Applied Psychology programs, among others.

Beyond its learning potential, a new, high-quality, child care setting would help alleviate strain on local families and follows the college’s commitment to establishing more quality child care options in the immediate area.

Earlier this year, the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Authority, St. Lawrence Child Care Council, Inc., St. Lawrence County Workforce Development Board, New York Power Authority, SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center, and the college’s Early Childhood program teamed up on a plan to create 10 to 15 new licensed providers, which will establish 60 to 120 new slots for children. With $200,000 in American Rescue Plan Act grant funding provided by the county legislature, the newly formed team is offering a Family Child Care Training Program at no cost to individuals that includes support, resources, and professional development for those who wish to establish home-based licensed family child care businesses.  The first cohort began in fall 2022 with 19 participants.

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.