April 7, 2017
Becoming a new parent can be incredibly overwhelming – especially for parents that aren’t sure where to turn for answers to the omnipresent question, “What do I do now?” New York City has lots of programs and resources to help new parents raise their children up to young adulthood, but the vast array of services can be hard to navigate.
That’s why the New York City Children’s Cabinet created Growing up NYC, a suite of resources to help families raising children in the city. The suite includes a policy framework that lays out the needs of children at every stage of development and the programs and investments that will help families meet them; resource guides for parents to find answers to their most pressing questions; and a digital platform that parents can easily access and explore, even when they’re on the go.
“The Growing Up NYC digital tool is a user-friendly platform for parents and caregivers to access all of the City’s resources, programs and events for kids,” said Mike Nolan, Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy at the Children’s Cabinet. “The content is curated and organized by the child’s age, making it easy for users to quickly arrive at relevant information for their particular children.”
Nolan and Benita Miller, the Executive Director of the Children’s Cabinet, came to CCC this week to present on Growing Up NYC. CCC had a chance to weigh in on the indicators of child well-being and development the Cabinet included in its framework, and the presentation was a chance to see how Growing Up NYC came together and where we can continue to work with the Cabinet to advocate for necessary resources and expand access to tools that work.
It was also an opportunity to get an in-depth look at Growing Up NYC’s digital platform. Through the platform, a parent can easily click on his child’s age and find out what developmental milestones his child should be reaching and what programs and services are available for children her age.
The parent of a nine-month-old, for example, can click a button and see that she can expect her baby to “Point at objects and people, play games like peek-a-boo, and crawl around the house.” She can learn more about accessing free or low-cost child care for up to ten hours per day, and she can check out upcoming events throughout the five boroughs that are geared toward children her age.
Growing Up NYC currently includes resources and programming for children ages 0 to 12, and the digital platform has received 83,000 visits since its October launch. This summer, the site will add content and programming for children ages 13-24, as well as programming for children with special needs and English language learners. The site will also include events at museums and cultural institutions throughout the city, and translate the tool into additional languages, starting with Spanish.
We track much of the data Growing Up NYC relies on in our own child well-being database, Keeping Track Online, and will continue to use that data to understand the needs of children across the city and highlight disparities in outcomes across racial/ethnic and geographic lines. Growing Up NYC also plans to unveil a new Children’s Budget this fall. We look forward to using that budget to help bolster our advocacy for investment in the programs and services that address some of the most urgent issues facing our city’s children and ensure every New York City child is healthy, housed, educated, and safe.