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Newsletter

Getting the Children Back in Their Seats

Immediately after Hurricane Sandy, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) was poised to offer assistance to over twenty child care facilities that sustained some level of damage from the storm.

It soon became evident that there were child care facilities which had experienced such significant damage that costly and time-intensive repairs would be necessary. ACS worked closely with the providers, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the NYC Department of Education to identify alternative classroom spaces to ensure that services to children and families resumed as rapidly as possible.

 

Getting the Children Back in Their Seats


ACS worked with the providers to survey their sites to analyze and detail the costs of rebuilding. ACS sought and successfully secured $2.3 million in private funding to assist the providers in the rebuilding efforts. Additionally, ACS received over half a million dollars in Head Start funding to provide enhanced mental health services to children and staff and $1.1 million for facility repairs/improvements and reimbursements to storm-related costs incurred by our providers.

During the course of that year-long recovery effort, ACS encountered a number of policies, processes and procedures that either enabled or inhibited the successful recovery of the EarlyLearn centers. All involved agreed that the system would not have been able to recover fully without the private funding that ACS received in the months after the storm.

The report, Getting the Children Back in Their Seats, based on a series of interviews with many of the key leaders and funders involved in the restoration of the child care centers, highlights many of the lessons learned during the recovery. We hope this report will inform future disaster-response efforts and improve disaster-related policies and practices so that other communities can rebuild faster.

The report was produced through funding by The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Click here to read the report