Children, Parents, Providers, and Advocates Return to City Hall to Demand Funding for After-School & Summer Programs

Rally follows the City Council’s support for both programs in its response to the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget

NEW YORK – April 24, 2019 – Students, parents, providers, and advocates rallied at City Hall today to urge Mayor de Blasio to expand after-school programs for elementary school students and restore funding for summer programs for middle school students. After-school and summer camp are critical to helping close the achievement gap, ensuring children have access to healthy meals, and preventing summer learning loss. Parents across the city rely on these programs to provide continued learning and keep their children safe while they work or attend school.

Since the summer of 2015, Mayor de Blasio has annually threatened to cut up to $20.35 million in funding for summer camp programming for 34,000 middle school students enrolled in after-school programs. Each year, the City Council has successfully pushed the de Blasio administration to fund summer camp programs. Earlier this month, the City Council endorsed both baselining summer programs and expanding after-school programs for elementary school students in its response to the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget.

However, the ongoing budget dance creates doubt about just how many students will have access to the programs. Waiting to fund the programs until the last minute will leave parents struggling to find programs for their children and providers scrambling at the last minute to hire staff, secure space, and prepare programs.

If the Mayor refuses to provide funding, low-income families will be hit the hardest, as they are more likely to be working and unable to afford privately funded programs. Of parents that utilize after-school or summer camp, 91 percent rely on the programs to go to work or school. Sixty-four percent of parents said they rely on summer programs for free, healthy meals for their children.

“The City Council has stepped up for New York’s children and their families by calling for funding for after-school and summer camp, and we are extremely grateful for their support,” said Susan Stamler, Executive Director, United Neighborhood Houses. “The Mayor, on the other hand, continues to perpetuate uncertainty that only hurts the most vulnerable families, forcing them to wait until the last minute to plan for the months ahead. Enough is enough – the Mayor must fund after-school and summer camp now.”

“After-school and summer programs are widely known to strengthen a child’s learning in the classroom, prevent learning loss, and help young people develop life-long skills and friendships that put them on a positive path towards the future. Parents rely on these programs not only to provide safe, affordable activities for their children when school is not in session, but also to ensure that parents can continue to work. We call on the administration to expand on the success of its SONYC program for middle schoolers by investing in universal access to after-school for all New York City public school students. We also urge the city to return to the original model of after-school programming, which included summer camp as a fundamental component of the program,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York.


The Campaign for Children is a coalition of 150 early childhood education and after-school advocacy and provider organizations, including Citizens’ Committee for Children, Children’s Aid, United Neighborhood Houses, Good Shepherd Services, FPWA, the Day Care Council of New York, UJA-Federation of New York, and the YMCA of Greater New York. The Campaign’s successful advocacy saved child care and after-school programs for more than 47,000 children by securing more than $120 million of one-year City Council discretionary funds for two consecutive years, which then were successfully baselined. The Campaign also advocated for the expansion of Universal Pre-K and middle school after-school programs in NYC and saved summer programs for over 34,000 children.

# # #

Get the Latest Updates --> Sign Up!