Support for New Families in Shelters

What: All mothers with newborns in city homeless shelters will receive two visits from the city's Newborn Home Visiting Program. 

The Players: The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Homeless Services.

How Much: $2.3 million. 

How Many: 2,000 mothers with their newborns.

When: Fiscal Year 2016.

Last year, some 1,800 babies were born to mothers living in homeless shelters. Yet there are virtually no developmental supports in place for homeless babies and toddlers.

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A Proven Parenting Program for NYC

What: A practical parenting intervention that aims to increase attachment between young children and caregivers will be available for vulnerable babies and toddlers in two high-needs neighborhoods. Ultimately, the model will expand throughout NYC.

The Players: ACS; Power of Two; community based organizations in Brownsville and East New York; Stony Brook University; private foundations.  

How much: To be determined; the majority of money to come from federal funding for kids in foster care.

How many: To be determined.

When: Families living in Brownsville and East New York will be able to participate in the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) program beginning October 2015. Over the next three years, the model will expand to all five boroughs.

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Getting Ready for School

What: An initiative that that helps parents and teachers promote early literacy for children from birth to age 5. City Council funding expands programs' reach in libraries, doctor's offices and homes. 

The Players: The City Council in partnership with the Queens Library, Brooklyn and New York Public Libraries; Jumpstart, Literacy Inc. (LINC); Parent-Child Home Program; Reach Out and Read of Greater New York (ROR GNY); and Video Interaction Program.

How Much: $1.5 million in Fiscal Year 2015, $1.5 million in Fiscal Year 2016.

How Many: 200,000 children over Fiscal Year 2015.

When: Launched Fiscal Year 2015.

“City’s First Readers” just received an endorsement from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Though a few of its programs send specialists to child care centers, most see working with kids and parents together as central to their mission, aiming to increase both the quality and quantity of family interactions. 

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Improving Quality in Early Education

What: A major expansion of QUALITYstarsNY, a quality rating and improvement program for early childhood education programs (including home-based day cares, child care centers and in-school pre-kindergarten programs) serving kids from birth through age 5.

The Players: QUALITYstarsNY; the Early Childhood Advisory Council; the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at the City University of New York; the New York State Education Department; the Office of Children and Family Services.

How Much: $4 million for Fiscal Year 2016, a net increase of close to $2.5 million from the program's FY 2015 budget.

How Many: QUALITYstarsNY currently serves 330 early education programs throughout the state, reaching a total of about 26,000 children. Approximately one-third of the providers are in New York City. The program will expand significantly in the coming year. 

When: Ongoing.

A program designed to help parents make informed choices about early education will grow significantly this year.

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Talk to Your Baby

What: A public awareness campaign to encourage New York City parents to talk, read and sing to their babies to promote brain and language development.

The Players: The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in partnership with the Children’s Cabinet.

How Much: $1 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The children's book publisher Scholastic, Inc. is donating $1.5 million in books. 

How Many: Book bundles to be distributed to 200,000 families.

When: Fiscal Year 2016.

Last spring, posters with wide-eyed babies and doting parents appeared on subway cars. Their message: “Talk to Your Baby. Their Brains Depend On it.” 

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