A bill that would allow state and local candidates for elected office use campaign funds for child care expenses was signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The legislation codifies a determination by the state Board of Elections made earlier this year that allows campaign funds to be put toward child care costs.

Supporters of the legislation contend the provision will make it easier for parents with limited personal funds to run for office and ensure their kids are taken care of during long days of campaigning.

“Women face too many barriers when it comes to running for office and frankly child care expenses shouldn’t be one of them,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By signing this measure into law, we will build on the historic progress we’ve made toward gender equality and empower more parents – and mothers in particular – to seek public office to ensure the decision makers in Albany reflect the people they are elected to represent.”

The use of campaign funds for child care was pioneered by Liuba Grechen Shirely, a Democrat who ran for the House of Representatives last year against Republican Rep. Peter King. Grechen Shirley successfully petitioned the Federal Elections Commission to allow her to tap into her campaign coffers to help pay for child care.

“This law will encourage more women to run, ensuring that legislators begin to look more like the communities they represent,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.

“By making child care an allowable campaign expense, we pay more than mere lip service to that reality, and begin dismantling some of the institutional barriers that women and mothers continue to face.”