We’re 70 Years Old and Still Going Strong
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
As we reach our 70th Anniversary of service to the New York City child care community there is much to be thankful for. There are new challenges that we must conquer and we will face them, confident in our members’ collective expertise. We want to continue the legacy established by the founding advocates of the Day Care Council of New York. Those dedicated individuals worked tirelessly to convince federal, state and city officials of the importance of providing safe and affordable early childhood education.
Early childhood education remains a centerpiece issue in New York City. The Day Care Council of New York, our fellow advocates, and most importantly, YOU, continue to remind our elected officials that quality services require well-educated staff that are paid a salary comparable to their counterparts in the City’s Department of Education. Equally important is the retirement benefits of those who are employed in the system. We have remained vigilant in advocating for the stability and growth in funding for salaries and retirement benefits, because we recognize that child care workers deserve it and a quality workforce is paramount to the survival of the system.
For the past two years, we have worked closely with the City and other advocates on the transfer of child care and Head Start program contracts from the City’s Administration for Children’s Services to the City’s Department of Education (DOE). This significant change in the direction of early childhood education was made in 2016 and has led to much speculation and trepidation among DCCNY members, advocates and parents. It is not clear how the City’s early childhood programs will fare in an agency whose primary mandate is the education of thousands of older children.
DCCNY members’ experience with DOE began in 1997, with the establishment of part-day Universal Pre-kindergarten (UPK). UPK is not a mandatory requirement for all young children. However, through the efforts of Mayor Bill de Blasio, UPK was expanded to a full-day program in 2014 and now serves approximately 65,000 children. To maintain and continue this expansion, nonprofits, specifically DCCNY members, must be involved. How this will be done and with what long term impacts are foremost on our advocacy agenda, along with salary parity for directors and teachers and the security of retirement benefits.
Your input and involvement is critical and appreciated. Together, let’s continue to make our expertise and concerns heard. Thank you.
Andrea Anthony, Executive Director
Lorenzo Newby, Board President