Cuts to Summer Programs Hit NYC’s Poorest Communities the Hardest
A report conducted by Citizens’ Committee for Children and Campaign for Children, has found that a majority of the 31,000 middle school students due to lose access to summer programs this year following planned city cuts come from the poorest New York City neighborhoods – the very neighborhoods where children are most in need of safe, educational programming in the summer months. This report references a survey of 2,500 parents conducted by the two groups last year, which found that nearly 20% of parents said they would quit their jobs if they lost access to a summer program for their child, and 12% said they would leave the child home alone.
“I need my children to be in a safe place while I work. I do not have anyone I trust to care for them during the day. Without summer camp, I would have no choice but to quit my job,” said one impacted parent. “This way I know they’re safe, learning and having fun.”
At the Preliminary Budget briefing, Mayor de Blasio stated, “There are some things that we chose not to continue. We talked last year about the summer after-school program, that’s something we thought was a good thing but was not necessarily a priority we could devote to.” The Campaign for Children could not disagree more. Summer programming must be a priority for New York City – the city’s youth and their caregivers depend on it. While eliminating summer programming would negatively impact all 31,000 children across the five boroughs, the poorest children in New York City – those who need summer learning the most – would bear the brunt of these cuts.