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In 2017, the Center for New York City Affairs launched the Institute for Transformative Mentoring (ITM).  In this video, participants speak about their personal transformations and their work as “credible messengers.” ITM credible messengers are formerly incarcerated men and women who, working with community-based and government agencies, help young people to navigate away from violence in their communities and avoid the criminal justice system. 



Small Children, Big Opportunities

The Department of Education Will Soon Take Charge of Child Care for Babies and Toddlers. What Can They Do to Build Capacity and Improve Quality?  

The last in a series of briefs looking at child care for babies and toddlers in New  York City's subsidized early education centers, this report presents our key findings. It also provides recommendations for building the centers’ capacity to provide quality infant and toddler care. With the City preparing to move its subsidized child care system from its current home at the Administration for Children’s Services to the City’s Department of Education, our advisory board of early education stakeholders, argues that now is the time to dream big when it comes to babies and toddlers, and to build a rich continuum of early education from infancy onward that will prevent the need for more costly interventions down the line.


New Publication | Budget WATCH

By James A. Parrott, PhD

This piece is part of an ongoing project to examine how budget cuts may affect children and families in New York. 



Making Room for Babies?: Lessons for the Field

By Kendra Hurley

Many child care centers have seen their enrollment of 4-year-olds decline due to New York City's pre-K expansion, which has dramatically grown the number of early education options available to kids this age. In response, some centers have become interested in “aging down” to serve younger children. This would be a tremendous boon in New York City, where quality affordable and subsidized infant and toddler care is in high demand and short supply. However, "aging down" is difficult. This report looks at ways that affordable and subsidized centers who do provide infant care make it work.


In 2013, New York City launched an array of programs designed to keep teenagers out of the City’s foster care system.

The programs—known collectively as “teen-specialized preventive services”—represent a pivotal piece of the City’s ongoing child welfare reform agenda: to keep whittling down the number of kids who enter foster care by providing intensive, evidence-based therapy to families in crisis.


Our six years of key indicators spotlight trends in New York City’s foster care and preventive services systems.


Full Survey

New Release 

Monitoring the Minimum Wage: Brief 3 on Lessons From Other Cities

By James Parrott


CNYCA partners with the Workforce Field Building Hub, an initiative of the NYC-based Workforce Professionals Training Institute (WPTI) on the Monitoring the Minimum Wage issue brief series. The briefs are intended to track the implementation of the $15 minimum wage in New York City by engaging businesses, workers and workforce practitioners, and by assessing the impacts in other jurisdictions around the country.

Monitoring the Minimum Wage: Brief 3 on lessons from other cities is available here.

Previous issues in the series are available here.

By Kendra Hurley

Growing interest in early education has led to more infant classrooms in child care centers—but they’re mostly for wealthy families.


After a series of widely publicized child deaths in 2016, New York City's child welfare system continues to struggle under a glut of new cases.

In response to a surge in child abuse and neglect reports, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) has drastically increased the number of families it brings into the system, filing more cases in Family Court and placing more children in foster care.

But the resulting system-overload, they say, increases the risk of breaking up families unnecessarily, and may make children less safe.



No Heavy Lifting Required: New York City's Unambitious School 'Diversity Plan

Earlier this month, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) released a long-awaited plan designed to increase diversity in the city's public schools. The Center for New York City Affairs has crunched the numbers on these goals and found that they would not reflect meaningful, systemic change.




Across the city, social service agencies are increasingly employing staff who’ve themselves had run-ins with the law as “Credible Messengers” to other court-involved youth. It’s a recognition of the powerful positive impact mentors who’ve had similar life experiences can have in changing young lives. 

To foster this important work, the Center for New York City Affairs is pleased to announce the launch of the Institute for Transformative Mentoring (ITM). ITM is a training program focused on the professional and personal development of such Credible Messengers. It’s a semester-long course, developed with Credible Messengers and the help of training and education experts and foundation and non-profit leaders, that’s designed to enhance the practical skills of Credible Messengers and also further the healing of their own lives. ITM will support the work of this unique and growing workforce.  

For more information, click here.

By Ana I. Baptista

When I was a child, the city of Newark, New Jersey was often the punchline of bad jokes about urban blight and decay. But to me it was home. And it shaped my understanding of what I would dedicate my life to pursuing: Environmental justice.


New York-Presbyterian, a world-renowned hospital, research center and medical school, is also a landlord in Northern Manhattan’s Washington Heights. Recently, it hit one of its commercial tenants – Coogan’s, a neighborhood restaurant and bar – with a rent hike that the owners said would force Coogan’s to close. Then the community rallied to Coogan’s side – and persuaded the hospital to relent. Here’s the backstory, and its larger implications.