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March 3, 2021
The COVID-19 crisis has heightened disparities and long-unaddressed needs that children, families and communities throughout New York are facing. Addressing them requires significant action and investment. However, the State is facing crippling budget gaps as a result of declining revenue and increased expenses related to the pandemic.
Austerity measures and cost-shifts to municipalities will only worsen the impact of this health and economic crisis – particularly on children from Black, Latinx, and immigrant households – and prevent a full recovery.
Now is the time to protect funding for child and family supports and invest in New York’s children to ensure they not only recover from this crisis but thrive.
CCC’s recent report, “Child and Family Well-being in New York State: Ranking Risks Across 62 Counties” show even before the pandemic, far too many of New York’s children and families have been struggling. Throughout the state, counties are grappling with poverty, housing insecurity, and poor health, education, youth and community outcomes.
These needs are exacerbated now in the face of the unprecedented triple crises in public health, economic decline, and persistent race-based discrimination.
The following information highlights key findings in each domain of the statewide analysis and the key policy and budget recommendations that CCC is urging state leaders to prioritize this session:
Click to jump to a specific domain:
In New York State, more than 800,000 children live in households below the Federal Poverty Level.
In nearly all counties that have child poverty rates above the state average of 20.6%, more than 90% of families have one or both parents in the labor force.
The experience of poverty has long-term impacts on child development and well-being. As we consider the effects of the pandemic and the subsequent economic collapse, with about half of households reporting loss of income since March 2020, the data make clear there is a critical obligation to do more to combat poverty.
CCC is working with partners across New York State to advance budget and legislative solutions aimed at cutting child poverty in half in ten years.
Among them, the Child Poverty Reduction Act (S. 2755/A. 1160) would require the state to produce an annual public report of the effects that any adjustment or reduction in the state budget would have on child poverty, as well as establish a Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council to identify and evaluate public policies demonstrated to reduce poverty and receive regular reporting from the state administration on progress.
We are also calling on legislators to combat economic insecurity by strengthening and expanding New York’s Child Tax Credit, especially to include young children, and strengthening and expanding New York’s Earned Income Tax Credit.
In New York State, 43% of the population are renters, and 27% of these households pay more than half of their income on rent, affecting over 900,000 people.
In 26 counties, more than a quarter of renters spend more than half of their income on rent.
As we consider the effect of the pandemic and dramatically heightened concerns around housing insecurity, including more than one in six renter households that are not current on rent, these data point to the opportunity to prioritize policies and investments that promote housing stability and prevent family homelessness.
To prevent eviction and a surge in family homelessness, CCC is calling on state leaders to:
Join us in urging state leaders to take action to ensure that New York’s families have access to the supports needed to maintain stable housing and prevent an increase in families with children entering shelter.
The share of children without health insurance in New York State is 2.7%.
Overall in 28 counties, the percentage of children without health insurance is greater than the statewide average, but several counties have double or triple this threshold.
The level of trauma experienced by children and families as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is sobering. Families have experienced illness, loss of life, economic insecurity, disruption in access to health and behavioral health care, and disruption in children’s everyday interactions with friends in child care, preschool and school settings. The needs of New York’s children at this time demand action to ensure that ALL children have access to health care coverage and services, as well as a robust behavioral health care continuum across primary care, early care and education, and in schools and communities.
We are advocating to protect public health services and strengthen New York’s healthcare infrastructure, including calling on state leaders to:
To address the crisis in child and adolescent behavioral health, we are advocating to:
We are also advocating to improve outcomes for young children with developmental delays and disabilities by urging the state to:
Join us in urging Governor Cuomo and State legislators to pass a state budget that ensures all children and families can access the Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education services they need!
In New York State, approximately 45% of third through eighth grade students are not scoring proficiently on ELA or Math state exams.
In the vast majority of counties, student pass rates fall below this statewide average.
As we consider the pandemic’s impact on children’s education, with one in three students statewide experiencing canceled classes while adapting to remote learning and the opening and closing of school buildings, there are and will continue to be many needs that must be addressed.
CCC is advocating against proposals in the Executive Budget to supplant $1.35 billion in New York State education funding with stimulus funds which would limit the ability of New York’s schools to meet the needs of students and deprive them of emergency federal funds needed to reopen schools safely, to support remote learning, and to provide extra support to students who have struggled during an especially challenging school year.
Our Advocacy is calling on state leaders to:
Most counties across the state struggle with early education enrollment, with 23 counties falling below the national average of 47.9%.
In 33 counties, fewer than 50% of 3 and 4 year olds are enrolled in public or private early education programs.
As the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on care-giving arrangements and forced many parents and particularly women out of the workforce, it is critical that investments in child care subsidies and Pre-Kindergarten increase and promote school readiness as well as facilitate parents’ reentry into the workforce.
Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 includes $40 million to lower some family co-pays. But given the needs that exist statewide, New York has a unique opportunity to make building-block investments and long-term structural changes to its child care system. New York is set to receive approximately $469 million dollars from the December 2020 federal stimulus act, and that money can and should be used to dramatically expand access to child care and child care subsidies across the state.
CCC, along with its partners in the Empire State Campaign for Child Care, are advocating for the federal funds to do the following:
Additionally, CCC urges the legislature to ensure all children are ready for school and young children with special needs get the services they deserve by doing the following:
In New York State, 4.7% of teens are not in school and not in the labor force.
In 25 counties, the percent of teens who are not in school and not in the labor force exceed the New York State average of 4.7%, with six counties exceeding 10% of teens.
As we consider the loss of income experienced by two-thirds of young adults ages 18 to 24 since the start of the pandemic as well as the heightened social isolation, depression and anxiety this population is experiencing, these data point to the need to protect and expand services that prevent youth disconnection from school and work.
Among them we are advocating for programs that have been shown to have positive effects on youth outcomes like attendance, grade progression, math achievement and reductions in disciplinary incident, including efforts to:
In addition, CCC continues to advocate for state leaders to build on New York’s raise the age legislation and prioritize efforts to end the criminalization of children and better serve children and youth that come into contact with law enforcement and the court system. Our advocacy this session includes calls for the state to:
In two-thirds of all state counties, the share of children living in single parent households is greater than the national average of 30%. These houses face greater challenges to economic stability.
In those 40 counties, the percentage of children in single-parent households exceeds the state average of 30.7%.
As we consider the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on communities of color, as well as heightened economic insecurity for more than one in three households in the state who find it somewhat or very difficult to pay for usual household expenses, these data point to the importance of ensuring counties are equitably resourced and that children and families can remain stable and intact.
CCC is working to push back against cuts to Child Welfare programs that have played a crucial role in connecting families with supports needed during the pandemic, including calling on state legislators to:
We are also advocating to ensure that the State budget takes targeted action to combat hunger and food insecurity as part of its COVID-19 response efforts, including:
Click on the button below to download CCC’s Child and Family Well-being in New York State: Ranking Risks Across 62 Counties to learn more about the needs of children and families throughout New York’s 62 counties. Tables summarizing the overall and domain specific ranking and risk categories, and data for each of the indicators in the index by county and statewide are available on pages 5 – 10 of the index.
In addition, you can download CCC’s analysis of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget for State Fiscal Year 2021-2022 to learn more about the impact of proposed budget cuts and cost-shifts on child and family well-being.