Early Childhood Education
Research shows that the development of young children in low-income families lags behind that of their peers in higher-income families. When children attend high-quality early childhood programs that promote social-emotional development, however, they do better in school, have higher graduation rates and are less likely to need special education services or be involved in the juvenile justice system. In New York State, 43 percent of children under age 6 live in low-income families (defined as income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level), which is why CDF-NY plays a leading role in early childhood education advocacy across New York City and Long Island. Our goal is to ensure that early childhood education and after-school services and systems are of the highest quality, comprehensive, integrated, fully-funded, and serve our most vulnerable children and families.
Pre-K for All
Studies show that full-day pre-k reduces income inequality and increases social mobility, making it one of the most important factors in breaking the cycle of poverty.
As a proud member of UPK NYC, CDF-NY was part of the grass roots coalition that supported Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to provide universal, full-day pre-K seats to all four-year-olds in New York City. The City is currently on track to fully implement the Pre-K for All program in Fall 2015, providing full-day, prekindergarten for over 70,000 four year-olds. Unfortunately, counties statewide lack sufficient funding for Pre-K; in FY 2014, a total of 90,000 four year-olds statewide did not receive any pre-k at all and we continue to advocate for funding to ensure complete access. For more information on Pre-K for All please visit their website.
Home-Based Child Care
This project aims to support home-based child care to improve the school readiness of the large number of young children in NYC who are in home-based care, particularly low-income children.
The United Way of New York City (UWNYC) and CDF-NY are partnering to address the school readiness of young children in New York City’s highest-need communities as part of UWNYC’s ReadNYC initiative. While more information is needed on the child care patterns of low-income families in New York City, we know that over 70% of infants and toddlers (of the low-income families enrolled in EarlyLearn, a unique child care model that combines child care and early education into a single, seamless system) are in a home-based setting (i.e. licensed family child care or legally-exempt child care). Little, however, is known about the current quality of home-based child care here, including who is providing the care and what training and supports are available to these providers across the city.
Publications, Testimony & Resources
CDF-NY launched the Emergency Coalition to Save Child Care, which has since become the Campaign for Children, a New York City coalition of over 150 child care and after-school advocacy and provider organizations; Winning Beginning NY, the statewide coalition that aims to make quality early care and learning investments a top public priority in New York State; and the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council, formed in 2009, to provide counsel to the Governor on issues related to young children and their families.