Publicly funded early care and education is a lifeline for working families in the city, allowing caregivers to pursue career opportunities and provide for their families, while children benefit from licensed and high-quality early education settings. But recent investments and expansions in the sector fail to increase access to full day and full year programs. Meanwhile from April 2020 to March 2021, prime age women were two and a half times more likely than men to cite child care as their primary reason for being out of work.
New York City must ensure publicly funded child care actually fits working families’ needs and offer robust care options for full-day care all year-round.
Mayor de Blasio’s Executive Budget expands 3-K for All by 16,500 seats but makes no significant increase in Full-Day/Year-Round Programs that serve infants and toddlers as well as provide a full day of care and summer services for three and four-year old children. Furthermore, due to a rebidding of slots, many longstanding community-based organizations which primarily serve low-income communities and communities of color are now set to only provide school-day/school-year programs, a significant barrier to accessing child care for working families. In the most recent data available for NYC pre-K, only 16% of all four-year-olds received full-day/year-round care while the remaining 84% were in school day/year programs. Meanwhile, many family child care providers who provide full-day care and the bulk of care for the youngest children, were recently awarded DOE contracts for only school-day care for three year-olds.
In order to ensure that child care and preschool is available for working families, CCC and the Campaign for Children urges the administration to make the following investments in the adopted budget: