New York is set to spend more than $15 million to expand child care programs at campuses of the State University of New York and City University of New York in order to provide more options to faculty, staff and students.

Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced this week that SUNY is set to receive $10.8 million meant to expand child care program access. CUNY will receive an additional $4.8 million.

"Expanding high-quality, affordable child care options is an essential piece of creating a more equitable and accessible higher education system for New Yorkers," 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."

The money is part of a broader effort to expand child care programming and eliminate so-called "deserts" to ensure access to public higher education.

Some state universities and college campuses have 80% of students who have reported having trouble meeting child care needs.

On-site programming is set to expand with $7.6 million in funding at campuses that reported the highest need: Alfred State, SUNY Canton, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Jamestown Community College, SUNY Old Westbury and SUNY Sullivan.

The City University of New York, meanwhile, will use the money to expand services on campuses that do not have child care centers. That includes $1.2 million for a new child care center at Queensborough Community College.

"The second phase of this initiative addresses our remaining 'child care deserts' and provides much-needed relief to those college families who have told us they have trouble finding care," said Interim SUNY Chancellor Deborah Stanley. "New York State is making a significant investment in SUNY and our students, and it is our hope that more parents join our campuses and focus on earning their college degree."