“Every $1 invested into quality early education and care saves taxpayers up to $13 in future costs-such as remedial education, public safety, and health care- and generates $1.86 in additional pending statewide, creating local jobs and revenues for local businesses.” This is the latest from New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s new report on the city cuts to early childhood education programs.
Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget’s early childhood education cuts for Fiscal Year 2013 will eliminate 15,375 subsidized childcare slots and 32,333 after-school slots cutting services for 47,000 New York City children and families.
These cuts come at a time when the city is already shrinking the capacity of its early childhood education services to transition into its new EarlyLearn NYC program which merges early education and child care programs. Though this shift is designed to improve early childhood programs overall, it also cuts approximately 6,500 slots from existing programs.
There is a myriad of research revealing the importance of early childhood education to adolescent development and even health and educational outcomes. The same is true for children consistently enrolled in after-school programs who gain an advantage in academic achievement. Furthermore, as one of the most expensive cities to live in, New York working parents rely on subsidized child care and on-site after-school programs to keep their jobs and support their families. These programs benefit the children participating in them, their parents who are able to go to work as a result, and the rest of us who live in a stronger, safer, and more economically healthy city as a result. As de Blasio’s report concludes, “Few if any other interventions have shown such wide-ranging positive impacts as early education and afterschool programs. Additionally, none are as cost-effective at improving cognitive and behavioral health.”
So why are these programs being cut?
According to de Blasio’s report, cities and states around the country are finding innovative ways to fund and improve child education and care services. Public-private funding partnerships are one place to start. The Campaign for Children, a broad based campaign supported by human service organizations across the city has called for Mayor Bloomberg to stop cutting early childhood education and afterschool budgets and asks the City Council to fully restore funding for these programs.
Take action to preserve these need services! Contact Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council here.
Contributed by Ana Billingsley of the Human Services Council.