The funding, announced at the annual Robin Hood benefit to support New York City’s anti-poverty efforts, includes $50 million from Robin Hood and $50 million in additional funding throughout the city over the next four years , as a result of state and federal initiatives. The Child Care Quality and Innovation Initiative will be part of the Adams administration’s broader child care plan, which will be released in the coming weeks.
“Investing in child care is a down payment on our children’s progress and future. We need to get New Yorkers back to work and lower the cost of child care, which will encourage families and remove the barriers that hold back many parents,” said Mayor Adams. “We are excited to partner with Robin Hood on this $100 million Child Care Quality and Innovation Initiative to not only position New York as a leader in the industry, but also take important steps toward a new, more equitable city for all.” .
The Child Care Quality and Innovation Initiative will seek to make high-quality, affordable child care more accessible while improving the quality of care provided to New York’s children. This new funding can be used to develop innovative solutions for the sector, such as expanding access in child care deserts: neighborhoods without enough licensed child care providers, providing options beyond traditional business hours to accommodate parents with non-standard hours and workforce development programs that help drive quality throughout New York City, including encouraging models that compensate providers more fairly, reduce turnover and create growth opportunities within the industry.
Research has shown that the most impactful anti-poverty investment that can be made begins in childhood to deliver returns to society that far outweigh the costs. Today, however, more than half (52 percent) of New York City families with children under the age of four cannot afford child care, and since the start of the pandemic, one in four parents have had to turn down a job, change jobs, or take time off for childcare needs.
Currently, there is only one child care slot available for every five babies in New York City. Investing in the city’s child care system will help reduce poverty, improve family economic stability, ensure healthy child development, and increase the ability of parents and caregivers, especially women, to work and earn more.
Announcement of the Child Care Quality and Innovation Initiative builds on the Adams administration’s call for a public-private partnership in New York City and marks an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate to catalyze improvements in child care that will have lasting impacts for generations.