NYC’s Early Childhood Education System Meets Only a Fraction of the Need

Digital Briefs

June 28, 2016

This Campaign for Children report developed by CCC reveals immense unmet need in the city’s subsidized early childhood education system serving low-income infants and toddlers. Only 14% of income eligible infants and toddlers are being served by the City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).

Based on the findings, the Campaign for Children called for the expansion of the early childhood education system to reach all eligible families of children ages 0-3. Families qualify for subsidized child care in New York City if their total household income is under 200% of poverty (less than $48,500 a year for a family of four).

Highlights from the report include:

  • Only 22,705 of the 157,052 income eligible infants and toddlers (up to age three) in New York City are served by the City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) early education programs, meaning only 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are served (leaving nearly 86% of children without subsidized early education).
  • In Queens, only 9% of eligible infants and toddlers can be served; in Staten Island, only 6%. Manhattan and the Bronx can only serve about 20% of eligible infants and toddlers.
  • There is a gap in access to full-day, full-year programs for children ages three and four. Only 40% of eligible low-income pre-school age students are enrolled in a full 8-10 hours a day of early education through ACS programs. Pre-K programs for four-year-olds administered by DOE offer 6 hours and 20 minutes of care per day during the school year. ACS programs provide care for 8-10 hours a day as well as in summer months, which better meets the needs of many working families.

The benefits of early childhood education programs are well known. High-quality programs have been shown to have significant impacts on cognitive and social-emotional development and to help close the achievement gap, particularly for low-income children. Furthermore, early childhood education programs enable parents to participate in the workforce, which is invaluable to the economic stability of low-income families whose children participate in subsidized programs.

Download to read the full report.


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