Care: Protect and Invest in Children and Youth Response to the FY25 Preliminary Budget

Budget Analysis & Priorities

March 5, 2024

The Campaign for Children (C4C) calls on the city Administration and the City Council to reject the devastating budget cuts to the early care and education and youth service systems that have been included in the FY ’25 Preliminary Budget.

The early care and education and youth services systems are facing budget reductions of historic magnitude that will decimate access to services essential to child and youth development and wellbeing, school readiness and success, and central to parental workforce attachment and economic recovery. Proposed budget cuts include $170 million from early childhood education, $19.6 million cut to Summer Rising, and $1.5 million cut in the current fiscal year and $6.9 million cut in the outyears to COMPASS after school programs. Cumulatively, these proposals would result in a loss of between 9,000 and 15,000 birth to five early care and education seats and a loss of more than 3,500 COMPASS slots.

These cuts are on top of reductions already taken last fiscal year as well as the anticipated loss of approximately $1 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds that have been used to support critical programs such as 3-K, preschool special education, community schools, community coordinators working in homeless shelters to addressing children’s educational needs, and many more.

These reductions jeopardize access to quality early care and education, impacting children’s foundational years as well as their parents’ economic well-being. Furthermore, reductions in youth services will deprive our school age children of safe spaces, arts and culture, mentorship, and educational opportunities essential for their growth and academic success. In a recent study, Citizens’ Committee for Children found that 80% of families cannot afford care for infants, toddlers, 3K and Pre-K, and school-age youth. Together, budget reductions will leave thousands of children and youth, and their families without access to essential services, at a time when services are desperately needed to help them recover from the ramifications of the pandemic. Communities of color that bore the brunt of loss of loved ones, job and income loss, disruption in school and child care, and learning loss, will bear the brunt of service reductions.

We must reject cuts that harm and destabilize the early care and education and youth services systems.

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