Big Dreams for New York's Youngest Children: The future of early care and education

Presented by the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School in collaboration with the Child Care and Early Education Fund

With the creation of EarlyLearnNYC in 2012, New York City reinvented its system for subsidized early care and education for children from low-income families. Officials sought to ensure high quality, developmentally smart care--but a string of financial and logistical hurdles posed difficulties for many of the nonprofit organizations that run these programs. Today, some thrive while others have lost their contracts or struggle to remain open. Now, as the city launches an expanded Pre-K network for 4-year-olds, what will happen to subsidized child care for younger kids? Can the reform vision of EarlyLearn be put fully into action, and sustained? A conversation with experts in the field, and the release of findings from a new Center for New York City Affairs report on early care and education.

With:

  • Steve Barnett,director, National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University
  • Maria Benejan, associate commissioner, Division of Early Care and Education at New York City Administration for Children's Services
  • Takiema Bunche-Smith, education director, Brooklyn Kindergarten Society
  • Gregory Brender, policy analyst, United Neighborhood Houses 
  • Maria Contreras-Collier, executive director, Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation

Moderator:

  • Abigail Kramer, associate editor, Center for New York City Affairs

Click here for Participant Bios.

Access and download the Executive Summary, Findings and Recommendations.

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Youth Justice, Police and NYC’s Neighborhoods

Center for New York City Affairs at The New School presentsa Child Welfare Watch forumCo-sponsored by the New York Juvenile Justice Initiative

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 2014 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM THERESA LANG COMMUNITY AND STUDENT CENTER, ARNHOLD HALL 55 WEST 13TH STREET, 2ND FLOOR [Photo by Andrew Hinderaker]
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 2014 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM THERESA LANG COMMUNITY AND STUDENT CENTER, ARNHOLD HALL 55 WEST 13TH STREET, 2ND FLOOR [Photo by Andrew Hinderaker]

There’s been a sea change in New York City juvenile justice policy and police practices over the last two years: Courts now place most teen delinquents in city programs close to home, rather than upstate; and police have sharply reduced the use of stop and frisk, a tactic that overwhelmingly targeted young men of color. Policymakers in the new administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio seek to drive change even further, to improve police-community relations and strengthen juvenile justice programs while also securing public safety. How does the administration intend to pursue its objectives? What do community leaders and others believe needs to change? Will young people and community residents gain a meaningful voice in both policy and practice? And can better data collection and data sharing help shape new solutions, both inside and outside the walls of government?

A conversation with:

  • Gladys Carrion, commissioner, NYC Administration for Children's Services
  • Joanne Jaffe, bureau chief, New York Police Department
  • Chino Hardin, field trainer/organizer, Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions
  • Gabrielle Prisco, director, Juvenile Justice Project, Correctional Association of New York
  • Chris Watler, project director, Harlem Community Justice Center at Center for Court Innovation

Moderated by:

  • Andrew White, director, Center for New York City Affairs, The New School

[youtube width="640" height="360"]http://youtu.be/THUUJEtPcQQ[/youtube]

This forum is made possible thanks to the generous support of The Prospect Hill Foundation and the Sirus Fund.  Additional funding for the Child Welfare Watch project is provided by the Child Welfare Fund, the Ira W. DeCamp Foundation and the Booth Ferris Foundation.

Baby Steps: Poverty, Chronic Stress & New York's Youngest Children

Chronic stress and early trauma shape the brain development of very young children. Increasingly, research shows that innovative, early-life work with infants, toddlers and their parents can help prevent the need for much more costly interventions later on. Can we reduce the likelihood of abuse, neglect and mental illness in stressed-out, low-income families?

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Brushes with the Law: Young New Yorkers, Neighborhoods and the Criminal Justice System

The city has overhauled its juvenile justice system to keep more young people out of confinement and in their communities. In the process, officials, organizers and providers also aim to strengthen families and neighborhoods. How can city government engage communities and tap into the strengths of local groups that work with teens and families?

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No Way to Pay Rent: What’s next for homeless families in NYC?

New York’s homeless population is near an all time high, with more than 40,000 New Yorkers living in shelters — including 16,500 children and their parents. Amid the continuing fiscal crunch, New York City and State recently ended a unique rent subsidy program that helped thousands move out of shelters and into apartments, and new federal rent subsidies are nowhere to be found.

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Combating Youth Violence: Concrete Solutions for New York City

Youth violence has declined sharply over two decades--more than 70 percent in New York State, according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. Yet in some neighborhoods there are now increasing reports of gang activity and violence. Tensions and distrust remain high between law enforcement officials and community members - especially young people.

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The Detention Dilemma: Families, Security and Immigrant Rights

Recent reports draw attention to the continuing expansion and privatization of immigrant detention centers and the violation of immigrants’ rights throughout the process of detention and deportation. What are the effects of the current situation on individuals who spend months or years in detention, and on their families?

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Ties That Bind: Reimagining juvenile justice and child welfare for teens, families and communities

The Bloomberg administration is seeking major changes in how the city works with teens in juvenile justice, child protection and foster care. The city would create a complete juvenile justice system in the five boroughs, no longer sending teens to state-run correctional facilities. At the same time, nonprofits would create more intensive, family-centered and community-rooted services for teens in child welfare.

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Against the Falling Tide: Working Families and the Economy

As the impact of recession lingers, low-income and working-class Americans struggle against the economic tide. Wages are declining and employment is stagnant. The 2012 elections only add to the uncertainty. What are the economic prospects for working families in New York and around the country? An insider’s experience of White House strategy and policy debates helps us make sense of the last two years, the coming 12 months, and beyond.

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Youth in Harm's Way: Marijuana, Law Enforcement and Young New Yorkers

According to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, 70 percent of the 50,383 arrests for possession of marijuana in New York City in 2010 were of young people under 30, and 86 percent of those arrested were black and Latino. The debate on the classification of marijuana possession as a crime is heating up nationwide even as the number of arrests in New York has risen.

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Parent Advocates in the Child Welfare System

Parent advocates are trained to support birth parents as they navigate the city’s complicated child welfare system. Research suggests they can help parents successfully move their child welfare cases forward. In June 2009, the Parent Advocate Initiative (PAI) was created to administer citywide support programs for supervisors of Parent Advocates in foster care agencies.

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Foster Teens in Transition: Are they better off today?

For years, rates of homelessness among the city’s former foster youth have remained stubbornly high. The city is connecting more teens to families, keeping more of them out of foster care in the first place, and developing new programs for pregnant and parenting foster teens. But for those remaining in foster and group homes, resources are being cut.

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Struggling Schools, Hard Times: Teachers, communities and school improvement in a time of fiscal uncertainty

A conversation with Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers, on turning around struggling public schools and boosting community collaboration. How will educators, parents and the city respond to the state fiscal crisis? And what is the future of school accountability in New York City?

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Marching In Place: The Great Recession, Low-Income Working Women and Economic Inequality

For the first time in history, women account for half of America's workforce, according to the recent Shriver Report. As the recession reshapes America’s workforce, women are less likely to lose their jobs than men. Is this progress? Women earn only 77¢ for every dollar earned by men, up a mere 13¢ from 1963. In New York City, important workforce strategies focus on single mothers, yet many working women are struggling with poverty.

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Work Life, Home Life: Should Government Require Paid Leave?

About 1.3 million working people in New York City have no paid sick leave, and pressure is mounting on employers to provide it. Local chambers of commerce predict the cost would be in the billions; labor advocates argue it is simply a matter of fairness, and the City Council has begun to move on legislation. In the national context of often inflexible work options and limited public spending on child care, are there plausible ways to improve family policies in the workplace?

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A Transformative Moment? New York's New Vision for Juvenile Justice

Major changes are afoot in juvenile justice. Governor Paterson recently proposed long-awaited reforms for upstate facilities where young teens are incarcerated. But he also proposed large cuts to alternative-to-detention and diversion programs. Meanwhile, the Bloomberg administration has merged the city’s juvenile justice agency with children’s services, potentially accelerating expansion of community- and family-centered services for juvenile delinquents and other young people.

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A Need for Correction: Reforming New York’s Juvenile Justice System

The federal Department of Justice has threatened to take over the state’s juvenile justice system because of incidents of staff violence and inadequate psychiatric care for mentally ill children in custody. Will the state and city improve mental health services and conditions of confinement for juvenile delinquents? Child Welfare Watch released its latest report, examining alternatives to incarceration.

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A New Landscape: Can NYC Keep Affordable Housing in Sight?

The current economic turmoil is taking a tremendous toll. Home foreclosures are common, market-rate condominium sales have stalled, owners of over-leveraged developments are defaulting, and unemployment is rising. This panel, hosted by the Center for New York City Affairs, explores the impact of the economic crisis on New York City housing by considering questions like the following: How are neighborhoods faring in the recession?

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The Obama Agenda: Overcoming Poverty in New York and the Nation

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Obama administration’s 2010 budget plan include resources and tools for large-scale job creation, increased benefits for low-income and unemployed people, refundable tax credits, and the prospect of new flexible funds for child and family services. What is Washington offering the states, and how will New York respond?

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