An organization affiliated with some of mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's closest advisers has presented him with a plan to implement his signature universal pre-K and expanded after-school plans.
Jennifer Jones Austin, the co-chair of de Blasio's transition team, is also the C.E.O. of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, which serves on the steering committee of the Campaign for Children. The Campaign for Children is also represented by Berlin Rosen, the firm that steered de Blasio's campaign to victory, and might be in a position to get this particular plans noticed from among the litany of priority memos and education wishlists de Blasio is being inundated with.
The plan was delivered to de Blasio's transition team Wednesday after a rally at City Hall.
"The Campaign for Children seeks to be a partner in this endeavor, but also to hold the Administration accountable for its implementation," a spokeswoman for the Campaign said in a release.
Campaign for Children's plan involves baselining $120 million of City Council discretionary funds for pre-K and after-school for 47,000 children, plus securing $30 million of one-year funding in the after-school system.
The plan also involves extending the current contracts through 2015 to avoid waiting on the Council to renew them this June, just six months after the de Blasio administration takes office.
De Blasio should also create a new office, the group advised, to be called the Office of Early Childhood, which would focus exclusively on children ages 0-5.
Campaign for Children has also advised the transition team to begin incorporating Common Core standards beginning in Kindergarten.
“The Campaign is excited and encouraged to have a Mayor-Elect who is a long-time champion of early childhood education and after-school programs, and who has made strengthening and expanding these programs a top priority for his new administration,” Nancy Wackstein, director of United Neighborhood Houses New York, one of the Campaign's members, said in a statement.
EarlyLearn, the city's current system for enrolling children in pre-K programs, currently serves only 27 percent of eligible families, according to data from the Administration for Children's Services.
The Campaign for Children called EarlyLearn "under-funded and unstable" in a statement.
De Blasio's transition team did not respond to a request for comment.