WNYC Schoolbook: Here Are Three Things The Next Mayor Should Do For NYC’s Youngest
It’s been one year since the Bloomberg Administration launched EarlyLearnNYC, an ambitious model aimed at improving the quality of the city’s contracted child care system for children ages 6 weeks to 4 years old. As we look back at its first year, we see that EarlyLearn, while laudable, has not been fully realized.
As it exists, the current EarlyLearn system is under-funded, decreases the capacity of the contracted system, and includes rates that are inadequate for providers.
According to the Mayor’s Management Report, EarlyLearn enrollment in fiscal year 2013 was 30,096, a substantial decrease from the more than 45,000 children enrolled in the contracted system the year earlier.
When we look at total enrollment in the contracted and voucher systems, we see a 19 percent decrease in the number of children served by ACS in 2013 (101,852) compared to 2010 (120,809). This decrease in the number of children served is particularly troubling in light of the fact that ACS has found that only about one third of all eligible children are being served as it is.
The numbers are moving in the wrong direction.