New Yorkers Want More Support for Children and Families From NYC’s Mayor, Poll Shows
Released May 10, 2017
Survey shows voters anxious about affording child care, after-school and summer programs, want more high quality, affordable services for children
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 10, 2017 – NEW YORK, NY – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s introduction of pre-kindergarten for all three-year-olds (3-K For All) is a promising development in a city where voters believe investing in children can help ensure success in school. But the mayor’s strongest supporters still want to see City Hall make an increased investment in child care, after-school and summer programming for children.
The poll was commissioned by Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) on behalf of the Campaign for Children (C4C). Global Strategy Group (GSG) surveyed 800 New Yorkers from April 6-10, 2017 who are likely to vote in the upcoming general election, including 537 likely Democratic primary voters. The results show that the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers want to see increased funding for high-quality early childhood education, after-school and summer programs for their children. In addition, anxieties run high as nearly eight in ten voters said they worry about being able to afford raising a family in the city. The poll found voters support expanding access to free and reduced-price child care, after-school and summer programming, even if it means raising taxes.
“When voters volunteer to pay higher taxes to help families meet the financial burdens of providing for children, it’s proof that so many are struggling with the balance of working while ensuring children have safe, structured places to learn and grow,” said Jennifer March, executive director of CCC. “Parents seek affordable, high-quality early childhood education, after-school and summer programs to ensure the economic stability of their families as well as their children’s academic success, and they want the City’s leaders to expand access.”
“New York City’s settlement houses and community based organizations have been vocal champions for the progress underway to make living and raising families in New York City more affordable and to close theachievement gap for children and youth. Now it’s clear that parents agree that expanding affordable, high quality programming is the important next step for the administration to ensure that all families have access to the programs that keep parents working and give children the skills to succeed,” said Susan Stamler, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses, a partner in the Campaign for Children.
“As a working mother, knowing my son has somewhere that is safe and nurturing and prepares him for starting pre-k this fall makes it possible for me to go to work every day,” said Czarinna Andres, whose 3-year old son attends pre-school at Sunnyside Community Services, a settlement house in Sunnyside Queens. “That is why I can understand why so many parents are concerned about the rising costs for these services and are calling on the City to invest more in early childhood education, after-school and summer programs.”
Some of the survey’s most revealing findings include:
• Voters don’t just want greater access to pre-K or 3-K, they want child and youth programs, even if it means raising taxes. 87 percent of general election voters and 92 percent of Democratic primary voters support expanding access to free and reduced price child care, after-school and summer programming. Even when voters were informed that their taxes may have to be increased to fund these programs, 64 percent of general election voters and 71 percent of Democratic primary voters still support expansion.
• Expansion of child care, after-school and summer programs, even with potential tax increases, is supported almost evenly among New Yorkers of different income brackets. 68 percent of New York voters making less than $50,000 support expansion, while 67 percent of voters making between $50,000 and $100,000 and 66 percent of voters making more than $100,000 are in favor of increased funding.
• The high cost of raising a family is a major source of financial stress for working parents. 83 percent of general election voters and 85 percent of Democratic primary voters said the cost of child care is a major financial burden for NYC’s parents. Three out of four voters (76 percent of general election; 74 percent of Democratic primary voters) say they worry about the cost of raising a family in the city. Even one in three high income New Yorkers, earning $100,000 or above, say they worry a great deal.
• Minorities face the greatest stress in raising a family in New York City. 83 percent of Hispanic parents say they worry a great deal about raising a family in New York City, compared to 62 percent of African American parents and 38 percent of white parents. And subsequently, more African American (51 percent) and Hispanic (74 percent) parents think often about moving than white parents (29 percent).
• Cost concerns are common, but vary by borough, and have many thinking of leaving NYC. Parents in the Bronx (70 percent) and Queens (55 percent) think about moving to afford child care more oftenthan parents in Brooklyn (32 percent) and Manhattan (43 percent).
• While New Yorkers give Mayor Bill de Blasio credit for his work so far, they aren’t satisfied. Although 69 percent of general election voters and 77 percent of Democratic primary voters give the mayor credit for improving the lives of New York City’s families and children, nearly the same number of voters (66 percent of general election voters, 70 percent of Democratic primary voters) believe he should invest more in child care, after-school and summer programs.
Poll data can be found online: https://www.cccnewyork.org/data-and-reports/publications/ccc-issues-surveyby-global-strategy-group/
“Good Shepherd Services is gratified – though not at all surprised – to learn that New Yorkers recognize the importance of childcare, pre-kindergarten, afterschool, and summer programs. Our experience providing these critical community services for 35 years has shown that young people do better when their academic work is supported year-round, and families do better when they have affordable access to quality services and care. Hopefully these results will help the Administration understand the urgency of investing resources to scale up these critical programs,” said Sister Paulette LoMonaco, Executive Director of Good Shephard Services, a partner in the Campaign for Children.
“We are impressed by Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to expanding education to all of New York City’s young children through Universal Pre-K for 4 year olds and his new 3-K for All initiative. However, as this poll clearly indicates, New Yorkers, who are responsible for the emotional and financial wellbeing of their children, require a more reliable, affordable and robust system of child care, after school and out of school supports,” said Louisa Chafee, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and External Relations at UJA Federation of New York, a partner in the Campaign for Children.
“It is such a relief to know that New Yorkers are united on the importance of child care. Families need help to pay for this essential support. Bravo to those who voiced strong support for finding the financial resources to make it a reality,” said Andrea Anthony, Executive Director of Day Care Council of New York, Inc., a partner in the Campaign for Children.
“The results of this poll confirm what Children’s Aid has always believed – that expanded education and child care are critically important and much-needed programs for New York City’s families,” said Phoebe C. Boyer, president and CEO of The Children’s Aid Society. “It is gratifying to see that voters agree and support continued and expanded investment in these programs. With this support, children from low-income families in particular can build a solid foundation for their future and realize their fullest potential.”
For additional information or further details on the survey, please visit www.cccnewyork.org or call or email Elysia Murphy, 212.673.1800 ext. 18.
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