A coalition of 150 early education advocacy groups called the Campaign for Children released their 2021 policy platform for the next group of New York City lawmakers that will be elected this year.
“As our city recovers from the pandemic’s impact on public health and the economy, prioritizing the success of our children and youth is a must,” said Children’s Aid President and CEO Phoebe C. Boyer. “The next mayor will have an opportunity to expand and improve upon a strong foundation of support through early childhood and youth programs and services. We are hopeful that the candidates and future mayor utilize this platform as a resource – and leverage the expertise of the early childhood and youth services sectors as partners – to push forward children- and youth-centered policies that will help our youngest succeed and thrive.”
The platform highlights a bevy of areas in education and early child car that incoming New York City leaders, particularly the city’s next mayor, should make deeper investments. According to a summary of the platform, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted and worsened racial and economic disparities and lawmakers should work to lessen those divides by making greater investments in full-day early child care, Summer Youth Employment Programs, investing in WiFi access across the city and working towards meeting the needs of preschoolers with disabilities among others.
“The past year has brought a multitude of challenges to children, youth and families – disruption in education, heightened housing, income, and food insecurity, social isolation and social-emotional trauma. Fortunately, the early care, early education and youth services sectors have been and will continue to be well-positioned to meet these challenges and address child and family needs,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. “The next Mayoral administration, incoming City Council, and other city leaders face a unique opportunity to advance a transformative policy agenda; we call upon them to create and fund universal approaches to early care, early education and youth services to put children, families, and New York City on the path to a full recovery. ”