Mayor Adams Invests Billions in Metropolis’s Youth, Releases Blueprint for Little one Care & Early Childhood Ed
June 28, 2022
$2 Billion Investment Over the Next Four Years in Early Child Care Including Allocated Funding for Undocumented Families
Creates Career Training and Professional Development Pipeline With CUNY for New Yorkers
Establishes New York City’s First Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today released “Accessible, Equitable, High-quality, Affordable: A Blueprint for Child Care & Early Childhood Education in New York City,” outlining essential steps to provide high-quality, equitable, and accessible child care for thousands of New York City families. From increasing outreach for families in temporary housing to expanding opportunities for early childhood professionals to cutting red tape for background checks, this interagency effort will move away from making critical decisions in silos to investing in holistic programming to support New York City’s youngest. By expanding access to care for the city’s 500,000 children under five years old, supporting parents, and reversing the economic impact for parents of color, the blueprint aims to support working families and allow parents to get back to work which will simultaneously add to the economic pulse of this city.
“As a child, my mother had to work three jobs and still find a way to take care of me and my siblings. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 375,000 parents were forced to quit or downshift their jobs because they had no other way to take care of their children. Now, my administration is working to make sure no parent has to make that hard choice between child care and putting food on their table again,” said Mayor Adams. “Our new blueprint is a historic investment in the future of our children, the future of working families, and the future of our city. We’re going to increase access to child care for more than 41,000 children across New York City. It used to take a village to raise a child, but these days, it takes a city — New York City.”
“Family members who leave work to care for a child not only lose out on their income in that instant, but also on wage and career growth,” said Deputy Mayor of Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. “When parents downshift their careers or leave their jobs due to child care inaccessibility, the city’s economy suffers. ‘A Blueprint for Childcare & Early Childhood Education in New York City’ allows parents, especially parents of color, to progress and allows our youngest New Yorkers to get the academic setting they deserve.”
“Having access to safe, reliable, and affordable child care is a protective factor for every family and developing child,” said Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “The blueprint outlined today sets forth ways the city will work to provide that opportunity to every one of our youngest New Yorkers and their families. Thank you to the mayor, to partners in government, to parents and guardians, and to everyone that contributed to this plan and will work to implement it.”
“Providing New Yorkers with accessible, affordable, quality child care is not only the right thing for our families but also critical to our economy. Many parents, especially mothers, left the workforce during the pandemic. By increasing the number of caregivers and expanding access to care, we are creating a more equitable system to level the playing field for parents of color,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “Implementing the strategies laid out in this blueprint will play a critical role in bringing parents back to work and will help fuel a more equitable recovery for our city.”
“The Department of Education is committed to providing our youngest New Yorkers with equitable access to a high quality early childhood education, and ‘A Blueprint for Childcare & Early Childhood Education in New York City’ is a critical step in ensuring this remains a reality for every single one of our families,” said New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks. “It has been proven time and time again that learning begins at birth. We are committed to our mission of fostering a birth to five continuum, guaranteeing that every child has the opportunities they deserve and every family has the supports they need.”
Over the next four years, the Adams administration will make an additional $800 million in investments, combined with existing spending on child care — representing a total of approximately $2 billion allocated to child care spending. The plan outlines ambitious steps the Adams administration will take to:
- Offer an accessible child care experience rooted in equity to New York City families and increase enrollment across the city,
- Prioritize 17 high-needs neighborhoods across New York City targeted to increase engagement with families and drive an increase in enrollment through the New York City Administration of Children Services (ACS),
- Create a tangible career training and professional development pipeline through The City University of New York (CUNY); and
- Take bold steps to include undocumented families, who have long been excluded from these opportunities, in new funding to create and expand child care benefits and make certain that all New York families receive the support needed to provide for their families.
Under the blueprint, the administration will cut red tape and alleviate the frustrations of the application process for families by launching a new application portal designed specifically for child care, allowing families to navigate this process easier. Through DOHMH, the administration will streamline the background check process to work for a child care provider, reducing administrative burden and clearing the agency’s backlog. DOHMH will also hire an additional 40 staff members to expedite results and make it significantly easier for providers to make new seats available, all while maintaining thorough checks on all staff and employees.
The Blueprint for Child Care & Early Childhood Education in New York City builds on private-public partnership and marks an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate on catalyzing improvements in child care that will have lasting impacts for generations. The Child Care Quality and Innovation Initiative, in partnership with the Robinhood Foundation, allocates a $100 million fund that will make child care more accessible, while improving the quality of care provided to New York children.
The current inaccessibility of child care threatens household financial stability, especially for women-led and low-income families in New York City. Research has shown that the most impactful poverty-fighting investment the nation can make starts in infancy, providing returns to society that far outweigh the costs. Currently, though, more than half — 52 percent — of New York City families with children under age four cannot afford child care and, since the start of the pandemic, one in four parents have had to turn down a job, change jobs, or take leave due to child care needs. Currently, there is only one available child care slot for every five infants in New York City. Investing in New York City’s child care system will help reduce poverty, improve family economic stability, ensure healthy childhood development, and increase the ability of parents and caregivers — especially women — to work and earn more.
Today’s announcement builds off Mayor Adams’ previous investment in New York City’s youth through Summer Rising, as well as this administration’s historic investment in the Summer Youth Employment Program — both highlighting this administration’s commitment to providing equitable and high-quality care for New York City children all year round.
“Access to affordable, high-quality child care is a game-changer for families, providing nurturing environments for children to grow and the support parents need to pursue opportunity. We are thrilled to be expanding access to thousands more children in families living throughout the city, including in our most underserved neighborhoods” said ACS Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. “Thank you to Mayor Adams and all of the city and state elected officials, advocates, providers, and parents who helped make this blueprint possible.”
“MyCity is creating a simple, seamless, and intuitive experience that aligns with New Yorkers’ expectations of digital-era government,” said New York City Chief Technology Officer and New York City Office of Technology and Innovation Commissioner Matthew Fraser. “Through this one-stop portal, we will ensure parents no longer need to search multiple websites and subsequently print and mail forms to apply for subsidized child care. Instead, we’ll provide them one unified online intake form to expedite the process. By removing unnecessary barriers to accessing essential government services, MyCity exemplifies our best ongoing efforts to leverage technology to ‘Get Stuff Done’ for New Yorkers.”
“Government works best when we get out of our own way — eliminating fiscal barriers and systems that place young people and families in crisis. ‘A Blueprint for Child Care & Early Childhood Education in New York City’ will help us alleviate the effects of poverty and free up parents or guardians so they can work and support their families,” said New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Keith Howard. “DYCD stands ready to team up with our sister agencies, community-based organizations, and the young people and families we serve to make sure that our youngest New Yorkers are connected to these life-changing child care and early childhood education opportunities.”
“This administration is investing in the future of New York City and giving our working families and low-income communities the meaningful and long-overdue child care supports they deserve,” said New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “This blueprint lays the foundation for truly equitable access to affordable, high-quality child care for all New Yorkers, notably the vulnerable families we serve. The positive impact of these unprecedented investments and this visionary plan will be felt for generations to come.”
“High-quality child care sets children up for a lifetime of good health outcomes,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “We are proud to play a part in bringing more of these resources to New York City families.”
“For far too long, the lack of accessible and affordable child care has been a systemic barrier to workforce participation and economic mobility for parents, especially women of color and low-income New York City families,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “Mayor Adams’ ‘Blueprint for Childcare & Early Childhood Education in New York City’ outlines actionable steps for families to access affordable, equitable, high-quality child care and education by reframing access to child care as a core part of the city’s economic recovery.”
“The New York State Office of Children and Family Services is pleased to hear about additional local investment by New York City to help working parents and vulnerable families afford safe and reliable child care,” said New York State Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “These efforts, combined with historic amounts of state and federal funding, align with New York State’s transformation of the child care system by expanding eligibility standards for child care assistance, increasing payment rates for providers and building capacity within the child care system.”
“New York City families bore a huge brunt of the COVID-19 crisis, especially young children. I applaud Mayor Adams for making them a priority in our city’s rebuilding with A Blueprint for Childcare & Early Childhood Education in New York City,” said U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney. “As a former educator and mother to young children, I know firsthand the critical difference that can be made in a child’s life with child care and education starting at a young age. This $800 million investment will set up the future leaders of our city with the tools for success starting at a young age, and I hope this sets a national model for how to give children a firm start to life with a strong education.”
“This investment into early childhood education will tremendously benefit working families by providing accessible child care and taking large steps to include undocumented families who were previously excluded from these opportunities,” said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat. “Investing in early child care is one of the most effective ways to combat poverty and provide families in New York City with economic stability. Working parents deserve to know that they have options for child care without having to worry about complicated applications, red tape, or the burden of expense. I look forward to seeing the implementation of these funds into community child care projects that will benefit families across the city.”
“Mayor Adams’ child care blueprint offers an encouraging path toward increased family economic security”, said New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, chair, Senate Social Services Committee. “For some families, child care costs are so prohibitive that one parent must stay home to provide care rather than seek traditional employment outside the home. Coupled with a multi-year, multi-billion dollar state investment in child care approved by the legislature in April, Mayor Adams’ plan will further lift up New York’s families.”
“There is no greater investment our city can make than investing in our children and their futures. It is imperative that every family has access to, and every child receives high quality child care and early education. I applaud Mayor Adams and his administration for this expansion,” said New York State Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, chair, Assembly Children and Families Committee.
“The quality of a child’s early experiences is instrumental as their brains develop, providing the foundation for learning, health and behavior throughout their lives,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “By bringing New York City closer to being able to offer quality, universal care to children under five, these investments by the city and the Robinhood Foundation will have positive, intergenerational effects for New York City’s most vulnerable families.”
“For years, our early childcare providers have complained of unnecessary hurdles hiring high-quality, knowledgeable educators,” said New York City Councilmember and Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “The Blueprint for Childcare and Innovation will take critical steps to ensure our educators receive professional development and career training, expedite the process for background checks, and create interagency partnerships to ensure we eliminate silos. Expanding and finding innovative solutions will help educate the almost 500,000 children and support New York’s working families.”
“The importance of equitable, accessible, and affordable child care in our city cannot be overstated,” said New York City Councilmember Shaun Abreu, “Investing in our communities begins with our youngest. Providing our youth with first-time and improved child care is a worthwhile investment, not only in their futures, but in ours.”
“So much about our city’s health, safety, and prosperity depends on more and better childcare. Our economy depends on working parents being able to work without worrying about their children,” said New York City Councilmember Tiffany Caban. “Our childcare workforce, overwhelmingly immigrant women of color, depends on good jobs at good wages, with good labor protections. And the future of our city depends on children having the high-quality care they need to develop into healthy, thriving adults. That’s why I am deeply proud to have helped spearhead the Care For All Families campaign to extend publicly subsidized childcare to our undocumented neighbors, friends, and family.”
“Mayor Adams’ Blueprint for Child Care & Early Childhood Education is something our city has needed for decades. It is proactive, focused on community outreach, and centered around low income and working families,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. “Assistance programs such as these are how we fight generational poverty and allow for true economic development. Every parent can attest to the struggles of balancing their careers with the need for proper child care. This blueprint not only focuses on the parents who have needed support like this for years, but also assists childcare workers and the industry as a whole by creating a tangible workforce development pipeline through DOHMH and CUNY. Thank you to Mayor Eric Adams for your leadership on this issue and for supporting New York City’s children and families.”
“Mayor Eric Adams blueprint for child care in New York City is a big step in the right direction towards universal child care for all New Yorkers. With over half a million children under five, our city has many caregivers that need increased support and access to services. Supporting and subsidizing child care, including for children that are undocumented, will increase gender equity and stimulate our economy,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Menin. “As we face an ongoing affordable child care crisis, I recently introduced a package of bills in the City Council that will advance New York City on a path towards universal child care. Now is the time to make universal child care a reality, and I look forward to working with my council colleagues and the mayor to make it happen.”
“Expanding critical investments for equitable, quality child care and early childhood education is significant to jumpstarting our youth’s academic development, as well as providing all New York City families with the support they need,” said New York City Councilmember Kevin C. Riley. “The Mayor’s Blueprint for Child Care & Early Childhood Education in New York City strengthens the administration’s commitment to ensuring underserved working families, regardless of their citizenship status, have access to services and opportunities for training and development. These initiatives will encourage that the road to economic stability, reliable child care and education, and community rehabilitation is obtainable for all New Yorkers.”
“High-quality, affordable child care sets the next generation up for success while allowing parents to get back to work, helping cut poverty now and in the future. It’s one of the most effective poverty-fighting tools we have — and we are excited to partner with Mayor Adams to expand the city’s child care offerings,” said Robin Hood CEO Richard R. Buery, Jr. “As we rebuild a new New York post-pandemic, ensuring every family has access to these child programs will be critical. We look forward to working with the city on data-driven programs that will turn New York City into a child care metropolis, uplifting hundreds of thousands of families.”
“Access to affordable, quality child care is crucial to this city’s recovery and growth,” said Children’s Aid President and CEO Phoebe C. Boyer. “Children’s Aid commends Mayor Adams and his administration for laying out the goal of creating a true, comprehensive 0-5 continuum of early childhood education that is built on parent and community input. We know from our decades of experience in the space that it’s the best way to meet the needs of children and families. Meeting this administration’s goals will require cross-agency collaboration to address fundamental challenges facing the current early childhood education system. We look forward to working with the city to resolve these challenges and to ensure successful implementation of the blueprint.”
“Thank you to Mayor Adams and his administration for focusing on early childhood education. New York City’s recovery will depend on an early childhood education system that is high quality, affordable, and accessible for all children and families, especially from immigrant communities,” said Wayne Ho, president and CEO of the Chinese American Planning Council. “We look forward to working with the Mayor’s Office to ensure that early childhood providers are meaningfully engaged in implementing the blueprint and that critical issues like salary parity for staff and full funding for services and indirect are addressed.”
“We applaud the Adams administration’s Blueprint for Child Care and Early Childhood Education in New York City, which correctly calls out the importance of NYC’s child care and early education system to New Yorkers and our city’s economic recovery,” said Jennifer March, executive director, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. “We support the blueprint’s legislative priorities and action steps, as they expand access for children birth to five years of age and pay special attention to children in immigrant households, children who are homeless, children in communities with high unmet need, in addition to reaching greater numbers of infants and toddlers and supporting year-round, full-day care. We are also pleased that the plan identifies goals designed to bring greater stability to the early care and education sector and to address impediments to timely contract registration and payment, and workforce staffing and stability. We look forward to working with the administration and our partners to make headway on the goals articulated today, and to build on them with needed advances in salary parity.”
“With the Blueprint for Child Care & Early Childhood Education, City leaders are making promising commitments towards a comprehensive, accessible, high-quality, and affordable Birth-through-Five system that truly centers the needs of New York City parents and children,” said Ramon Peguero, Esq., president & CEO, Committee for Hispanic Children & Families. “The Committee for Hispanic Children & Families (CHCF) applauds this bold vision for breaking down bureaucratic silos that oversee the ECE sector, which have, for too long, placed a burden on our families and ECE workforce. Of critical importance in laying out this new system is the direct engagement of impacted community members: parents who navigate these systems, the committed providers who deliver these programs, and community organizations who facilitate resource access for our most vulnerable families and providers. CHCF looks forward to working with Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayors Wright and Williams-Isom in implementing the blueprint towards a responsive child care and early education system.
“Early care and education is not just important for a child’s future, it is crucial for New York City’s future and recovery,” said Tara N. Gardner, executive director, Day Care Council of New York. “The member organizations of the Day Care Council of New York work every day to ensure that New York City’s children have the opportunity to access early care and education. Our city needs its early childhood system to grow and to do that we must resolve the issues that have challenged our sector for far too long including salary parity, timely payments, and making the enrollment process seamless and fair for both families and providers. DCCNY looks forward to working with Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayors Wright and Williams-Isom, and the administration on the implementation of the Blueprint for Child Care & Early Childhood Education in New York City and strengthening early childhood education and care for all New Yorkers.”
“We applaud Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayors Wright and Williams-Isom, and their teams for making child care for children ages 0-5 a priority of this administration. Settlement houses are pioneers in providing high quality early childhood education programming in New York City, and the last few years have underscored the need for bold action to support their programs,” said Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses Susan Stamler. “Now is the time to support New York City’s families with options that match their preferences, work hours, budgets, and neighborhoods; and to support the early childhood education workforce and providers through every avenue possible, most crucially through salary parity for the early childhood education workforce. We look forward to working together to implement this blueprint and expand on future initiatives to ensure that the system is stable and strong for years to come.”
“Today’s announcement is a major victory for children and families across New York City,” said Wonderschool CEO and Founder Chris Bennett. “Wonderschool was created to address the gaps in child care and reach immigrant communities. I commend Mayor Adams’ leadership and look forward to supporting this crucial initiative.”