New Report Outlines Key Solutions Needed in FY’23 NYC Budget to Reduce Heightened Disparities in Child and Family Well-Being and Ensure an Equitable Recovery

Press Releases

April 19, 2022

Nearly 40% of Households with Children in Rental Arrears Report They Could Face Eviction Soon; 43% Say it is Somewhat or Very Difficult to Meet Usual Weekly Expenses

New York, NY – Today, the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) released a comprehensive new report that details the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on New York City families and children. Titled, “Keeping Track of New York City’s Children: 2022,” the report highlights the historic opportunity New York City’s elected leaders have to advance an equitable pandemic recovery and ensure that the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget for New York City prioritizes the needs of children and families.

Keeping Track is the most comprehensive resource on the well-being of New York City’s 1.7 million children and their families. The report shows that real progress was being made in child and family well-being across a wide range of issues prior to the pandemic; however, even as progress occurred, disparities persisted along race, ethnic, and gender lines. During the pandemic, progress has not only halted altogether, but disparities have been exacerbated and deeply rooted inequities have worsened.

The report underscores the urgent need for New York City government leaders to take action to lift incomes; stabilize housing; improve access to child care, youth services, and education; address the behavioral health crisis; and invest in strength-based approaches to support families, youth, and communities.

Key findings from the data book illustrate the challenges many New York City families with children faced during the height of the pandemic, with 43% of households with children reporting it was somewhat or very difficult to meet their usual weekly expenses and nearly 40% of renter households with children in rental arrears reporting it was somewhat or very likely that they would be evicted. The data also show that 4,730 New York City children under 18 lost a parent or caregiver to COVID-19 from March 2020 through December 2021.

“We have an opportunity to leverage the sobering array of data presented in Keeping Track to inform the policy and budgetary decisions made in New York City,” said Jennifer March, Ph.D., Executive Director of CCC. “It is incumbent that city leaders – Mayor Adams and the New York City Council with support from borough based and citywide elected leaders – achieve a CFY’23 adopted budget that advances and funds priorities that not only inform the pace of recovery and the path to resiliency, but ensure that equity in recovery is prioritized.”

Findings from the data book support the need for City investments that not only reboot progress halted by the pandemic, but address unacceptable and persistent inequities that are exacerbated now:

  • Economic Security: After a decade of growth in median income among families with children, the pandemic has disproportionately resulted in job and income loss for the lowest income households and households of color and has disproportionately impacted female heads of households, with 35% of women reporting being out of work due to childcare responsibilities.
  • Housing: The pandemic has increased housing insecurity for many New York families, especially women and families of color who were already disproportionately represented in New York City’s homeless shelter system. More than 94% of New York City families with children in shelter are Black and Hispanic, and the average length of stay for families in shelter has risen to 520 days.
  • Mental Health: New York’s children and youth faced a mental health crisis prior to pandemic, with suicide rates for 10 to 24 year olds growing by 30% over the last decade. This crisis has been exacerbated by additional stressors related to the pandemic and barriers to accessing care. Young adults and caregivers are also deeply impacted, with 50% of 18 to 24 year olds reporting symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorders and 34% of household heads with children reporting symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorders as well.
  • Early Care and Education: Gains in system expansion made prior to the pandemic have been halted as enrollment across the early care and education system has declined during the pandemic, with voucher utilization decreasing from 64,000 to 50,000 children; enrollment in family and center-based child care falling from 23,000 to 18,000; pre-K enrollment dipping from 67,000 to 58,000; and 3-K enrollment decreasing from 17,000 to 15,000.
  • Education: Gains made in closing the school achievement gap in New York City were upended during the pandemic, when students experienced significant disruptions in schooling – 12% of households reported that their children had zero days of live contact with a teacher from March 2020 to June 2021.
  • Youth: While New York City’s youth unemployment rates had improved in the years before 2020, the barriers to youth opportunities have worsened during the pandemic, with 62% of youth aged 18 to 24 reporting a loss of employment income since March 2020.

“For the last two decades, Keeping Track has been used as a resource to shape philanthropic priorities, direct service program development, and budget and public policy decisions that have contributed to many areas of progress in child well-being,” said Marija Drobnjak, M.S., Senior Research Associate, CCC. “Our latest report uses a strength-based approach to counter deficit-focused narratives about New York City’s communities. We draw attention to the essential infrastructure that promotes well-being in every community – such as banks, grocery stores, health care facilities, and parks – to uncover where greater investments are needed.

Keeping Track offers a roadmap for recovery and demonstrates that every community must benefit from equitable access to essential services and the infrastructure needed to thrive.”

“With this publication, CCC offers the most comprehensive overview of how the pandemic and broader trends of the past decade have impacted the well-being of New York City’s children, youth, and families,” said Jack Mullan, MPP, Research Associate, CCC. “These data detail the full scale of challenges families have faced during the pandemic and bring us closer to a reckoning with the systems that have allowed conditions of social and economic inequality to continue and worsen. To chart a path forward, we must understand both where our city has succeeded and where it has come up short for children and families. This data book is a key starting point for advancing an equitable recovery.”

Based on the data from Keeping Track, CCC is calling on New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the New York City Council, with support from borough based and citywide elected leaders, to address heightened disparities and promote an equitable recovery in the FY2023 New York City Budget, including :

  • Advancing economic equity by funding an annual cost-of-living adjustment for all in the human services workforce, setting a living wage floor, and creating a comprehensive wage and benefit schedule for the City’s contracted human services workforce, and by ensuring that the proposed deepening of the city’s Earned Income Tax Credit is adopted and that it is not accompanied by any reduction in funding for existing benefits or social services.
  • Increasing access to high-quality, affordable year-round infant toddler care, extended day and summer pre-K and 3-K and year-round youth services and youth employment programs, and by addressing inequities in pay and benefits in the early childhood workforce, and increasing reimbursement rates for Beacon, Cornerstone, and COMPASS contracts.
  • Fully funding CityFHEPS vouchers to ensure the program is accessible to all who are eligible, and leveraging the program as a homelessness prevention tool by removing requirements that necessitate an eviction filing, shelter history, or income to qualify.
  • Strengthening the continuum of behavioral health supports for children, youth, and their caregivers by increasing access to clinical care options within schools and communities and promoting whole-school, healing-centered approaches to school climate.
  • Expanding investments that promote community safety and child, youth, and family well-being such as child welfare general prevention programs, community-rooted violence interrupting initiatives, as well as investments in parks, playgrounds, and green space.

For more than 30 years, CCC’s Keeping Track of New York City’s Children data book has provided New Yorkers at large, government officials, philanthropic leaders, academics, and child and family service professionals with information on both welcomed and worrisome trends facing children and families across New York City. The report examines data from dozens of government administrative sources and agencies and disaggregates data by demographic groups to identify meaningful disparities that deserve attention in policy making and public discourse. This data book is a complement to CCC’s interactive online database,, which houses hundreds of indicators, demographic breakdowns, and several easy-to-use data visualization tools.

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