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?
By Kendra Hurley with Angela Butel | Recommendations from Advisory Board
The last in a series of briefs (linked to below) looking at child care for babies and toddlers in New York City's subsidized early education centers, this report presents our key findings and provides recommendations for building the centers’ capacity to provide quality infant and toddler care. Findings include:
· Despite growing interest in center-based care for very young children, the capacity for City-contracted centers to serve infants and toddlers has fallen in recent years, and the remaining capacity is endangered unless the City makes a deliberate decision to prevent further loss.
· Pre-K for All, while a tremendous boon to families with 4-year-olds, has had the unintended consequence of leaving many child care centers struggling to retain students and teachers. These are problems 3-K for All may exacerbate if centers’ particular challenges and needs are not addressed in the 3-K roll-out. When centers with room for babies and toddlers close or lose valued teaching staff, the City loses precious capacity for quality infant and toddler care.
Currently, the City is preparing to move EarlyLearnNYC, its complex subsidized child care system, from its current home at the Administration for Children’s Services to the City’s Department of Education. This means that New York will become the first major city to place babies and toddlers under the care of its education system.
Our advisory board of early education practitioners, policymakers and other stakeholders, argues that this moment of transition presents an important opportunity to dream big when it comes to babies and toddlers, and to build a rich continuum of early education from infancy onward that prevents the need for more costly interventions down the line.
This report is part of a series on babies in child care centers. In a forthcoming brief we will release our key findings as well as recommendations shaped from an advisory board of early childhood stakeholder:
This report looks at ways that affordable and subsidized centers who provide infant care make it work.
The Mayor announced two new plans that could determine the future of the country’s largest child care system for poor and low-income families.