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.


  • 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


  • 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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The City & The State: Conflict or Collaboration?

empire state

Is tension inevitable between Albany and NYC? Or is it just that there’s a new mayoral administration and an election-year governor, and press and politicos shining the spotlight in search of every conflict? As Mayor de Blasio seeks to fulfill campaign promises and pursue the agenda that got him elected, a popular Governor Cuomo has his own program to fulfill. Will the city and state collaborate? Or will diverging fiscal and political priorities cause more conflict, more publicly than in the past?


  • Michael Benjamin, political columnist, New York Post; former NYS Assemblyman (D-Bronx)
  • Bill Hammond, political columnist, New York Daily News
  • Thomas Kaplan, political reporter, The New York Times
  • Liz Krueger, New York State Senator (D-Manhattan)

Moderated by:

Admissions is free, but you must RSVP:

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Learn English... If You Can: The Shortage of English Classes for NYC's Immigrants

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