Letter: Immediate action needed to address contract and payment delays in Early Care & Education system

Testimony & Public Comments

August 10, 2021

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

We write to urgently request your assistance in making crucially needed funding available to non-profit organizations with contracts under Department of Education’s Birth-to-Five and Head Start/ Early Head Start RFPs. These contracts began on July 1, 2021 but many organizations have not been able to access any funding from their contracts yet due to delays in the contract approval and registration processes.

Organizations need their contracted payments in order to pay staff, fund benefits, cover rents, and provide services to New York City’s children and families which they are passionately continuing  to do in good faith despite not receiving the 25% advances or Bridge Loans which will allow them to remain open. Several organizations with Birth-to-Five and Head Start/ Early Head Start contracts have already missed payroll because they were unable to access funds from their DOE contracts. Many are in jeopardy of missing a second payroll this week. As organizations work to recover from the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this added factor is costing them dearly. They are losing the trust of the staff they need to serve children and families. They are in an impossible position.

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