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New Reports Document Need For Continued Expansion of Early Education, After-school and Summer Programs

Despite New York City’s recent expansion of prekindergarten for all 4-year olds and after-school programs for over 100,000 middle school students, there is still a tremendous need to further expand high quality early childhood education and after-school programs. Early childhood education, after-school and summer programs are essential for enabling parents to work while their children are not only safe but benefiting academically, socially and developmentally.

This week, the Campaign for Children released two reports documenting the need. CCC and our colleagues in C4C are urging the de Blasio administration to build on its successes and continue to expand the early childhood system  and the after-school system.

The after-school and summer report, Status Report on NYC’s After-school System: Demand for Elementary, High School and Summer Programming Remains, documented the continued need for expansion. This report was based on two surveys. The survey of after-school providers documented that 88% of the elementary after-school providers had waitlists. The survey of parents found that 91% of surveyed parents relied on summer programming to be able to work or go to school and that nearly two-thirds were relying on the summer programs for summer meals to feed their children.

This report was featured in the Gotham Gazette. CCC’s Stephanie Gendell was quoted, saying, “We know that after-school programs keep children learning and parents working, both during the afternoon hours and throughout the summer months. The City’s significant investment in programs for middle school students has been a major success, and should be extended to the families of children at all grade levels, all year long.”

The report on early childhood education, NYC’s Early Childhood Education System Meets a Fraction of the Need, calculated the gap between income eligible children by age and the City’s current capacity for children ages 0-4 in the subsidized system. Notably, the report documented that currently the City can only serve 14% of the eligible infants and toddlers and that the early childhood system needs to be able to serve more children ages 0-3.

This report was featured on WNYC. CCC’s Stephanie Gendell said, “This analysis confirms that the City’s early childhood system does not have sufficient capacity to serve thousands of income-eligible young children, particularly infants, toddlers and 3-year-olds. We must build on the successful implementation of pre-K by ensuring young children have access to high-quality programs as early as possible, so parents can work knowing that their children are safe and benefitting from programs that enhance their social, emotional, developmental and academic growth.”

Together with the Campaign for Children, we are urging New York City to take steps in the coming months to strengthen and expand the early childhood education and after-school systems by increasing the capacity to serve children 0-3, and children in elementary and high school both during the school year and the summer months. In addition, the City needs to adequately compensate both the programs and the staff to ensure high quality programming and a fairly compensated workforce.

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