Advocates applauded Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to expand full-day Universal Pre-Kindergarten and afterschool programs for middle school students, as well as the end to NYC's yearly "budget dance", during City Council budget hearings yesterday. However, representatives of The Campaign for Children, a coalition of over 150 New York City provider and advocacy organizations, also citing a number of critical concerns which could threaten early childhood and after-school programs unless addressed quickly. Among their concerns are funding rate discrepancies between Out of School Time programs supported by different funding streams, missing summer program allocations in the FY2015 budget and expiring one-year contracts in need of extensions. The group also cited its Campaign for Children Transition Plan as a roadmap for developing a high-quality, universal system of early childhood and after-school programs.
“We are greatly encouraged by the growing recognition of the importance of after-school," said Gregory Brender of United Neighborhood Houses (UNH). "UNH strongly supports New York City’s plan to expand after-school programs for middle school students through a modest, targeted tax increase. Many young people and parents from UNH member agencies have visited Albany, made phone calls and organized in their communities to support New York City’s plan. We are thrilled that many members of the City Council have been lobbying for the plan and that the resolution supporting New York City’s plan passed with an overwhelming margin.