November 7, 2016
The Campaign for Children (C4C), a coalition of over 150 organizational members, initially formed in 2011 when the New York City Youth Alliance and the Emergency Coalition to Save Child Care merged to undertake a comprehensive campaign to coordinate government relations, community mobilization, and media placement in an effort to beat back proposed City budget cuts that threatened to cut child care and after-school programming for 47,000 children.
C4C successfully increased visibility, thereby elevating the importance of child care and after-school programs in policy and budget debates. Our advocacy resulted in securing historic levels of budget restorations for two consecutive fiscal years and ultimately informed outgoing Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to baseline $120 million in resources, thereby protecting system capacity and offering system stability.
Building on these significant victories, C4C championed the need to expand access to these programs, as well as the benefits of universal approaches to pre-kindergarten and after-school throughout the 2013 mayoral race. Our Transition Plan released in 2013 laid out both our vision and our goals to strengthen New York City’s Early Childhood Education and After-school Systems through a focus on the three pillars of Quality, Investment, and Expansion, and the plan established short-term, medium-term, and longer-term benchmarks.
Our vision remains the same:
“Every child in New York City deserves access to safe, high-quality, and affordable early childhood education and after-school programs. New York City’s Mayor, as well as the Comptroller, Public Advocate, and City Council members, must have a plan to create high-quality, sustainable, fully-funded early education and after-school systems, including summer programming, for New York’s children and families. Enacting this plan must be a top priority for the new administration. The Campaign for Children seeks to be a partner in this endeavor, but also to hold the administration accountable for its implementation.”
Since its release, the C4C Transition Plan has guided the priorities the campaign has advanced through government relations, community mobilization, and media placement. Now nearly three years into the de Blasio administration, it is time to take stock of the progress that has been made as well as re-energize the discussion and identify the steps that must be taken in the next and final year of the de Blasio administration’s term, as well as in future years.