Statement on Summer Program Funding in Preliminary Budget
For Immediate Release: January 21, 2016
Contact: Morgan Rubin, email@example.com, 646-517-1813
Campaign for Children Statement on Mayor’s Budget Priorities for Fiscal Year 2017
New York, NY – Following the release of Mayor de Blasio’s preliminary budget plan for the 2017 fiscal year, the Campaign for Children, a coalition of 150 early childhood education and after-school advocacy and provider organizations, released the following statement:
“Summer programs are a necessity for thousands of children and families who have no other options for a safe, educational, enriching environment while school is out, and for the thousands of staff members and youth who rely on them for employment. While we applaud the Mayor’s commitment to funding pre-K for four-year-olds, after-school for middle school students, and other important educational initiatives, we are outraged that the administration has proposed cutting 34,000 summer program slots. Without these programs, students lose out on too much — about two months of grade level equivalency in math and reading skills, and the chance to access free, nutritious meals. We will be advocating for the restoration of funding in time for high-quality programs to be there for NYC’s children this summer.”
In a survey, the Campaign for Children reached nearly 2,500 parents about their need for summer programs, a critical component of the after-school system that aids working parents and keeps children safe and learning during the months out of school. Notably, 91% of surveyed parents responded that they rely on summer camp to be able to work or go to school. Responses regarding what they would do if there was no summer camp for their children showed how challenging this predicament would be, given that so many families accessing programs are low-income. 18% of respondents said they would quit their jobs without access to camp; 12% said they would leave the child home alone. The majority said they would look for another camp if theirs closed – but with the overall capacity set to decline, this would likely not be an option.
Summer camps are often summer meals sites in New York City, where any child under age 18 can have a free meal without having to sign up or provide any identification. Nearly two-thirds of parents (64%) responded that they rely on summer camp for meals for their children. Historically, the summer meals take-up rate has been very low, and summer camps provide a convenient location for children to access free, healthy meals.
ABOUT CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN:
The Campaign for Children is a coalition of 150 early childhood education and after-school advocacy and provider organizations, including Citizens’ Committee for Children, The Children’s Aid Society, United Neighborhood Houses NY, Good Shepherd Services, Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Children’s Defense Fund-NY, Day Care Council of New York, UJA-Federation of New York, and YMCA of Greater New York. The Campaign’s 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.