T HE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WORLD
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION AND INVESTMENT The experts concur: the single most powerful step that the public sector could take to radically improve the odds for the largest number of New York’s lowest-income girls would be to put in place workplace policies and subsidized childcare programs permitting low-wage working mothers to provide their children with solid, reliable, first-rate, well-paid care while they earn the money to support those children. Nothing less than a complete overhaul of those policies and services will do. And no other single effort would do more to help the city’s low-income families, low-income communities and overall economy. The particular recommendations offered by those experts included:
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE PHILANTHROPIC/NONPROFIT SECTOR: • Strongly support advocacy efforts promoting fair workplace practices and funding towards universal childcare at both the national and the local level.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE PUBLIC SECTOR: • Rigorously monitor and enforce the Paid Family Leave Act and continue passing the vital additional legislative measures that will allow lowwage working parents to provide adequate care for their young children, i.e.:
• Invest strongly into creating youth developmentschool partnerships offering universal after-school services for students in grades Pre-K-2 in lowincome neighborhoods.
A Voices from the Field Report
• Protecting against sudden or frequent changes in those parents’ schedules.
• Re-examine the way that childcare vouchers are distributed to ensure that they are reaching those who need them most in the most equitable and strategic manner. • Create a new City agency whose sole focus is Early Childhood (preferably defined as birth through age eight) and move all childcare services into that new agency. • Invest robustly into the newly-located EarlyLearn system. In particular:
• Carry out a thorough needs assessments to determine where the demand lies and what specific service needs are not being met (i.e., night-time care, care for 0-3- year-olds) in what parts of the city.
• Create a comprehensive, citywide marketing and enrollment process similar to that utilized by UPK.
• Raise compensation for all those who work in the system – childcare teachers, center workers and family child care providers, and ensure that all the teachers earn on a level comparable to Pre-K teachers in the public school system.
• Support individual childcare organizations seeking to enrich and expand services. • Strongly support the efforts of nonprofits offering training to center-based and family child care providers both within and outside of the EarlyLearn network.
• Ensuring reasonable flex-time accommodations for low-wage working parents.
Published on Feb 16, 2017
Experts in the area of early childhood development explain that for little girls, the period between birth and age eight comprises a coheren...