February 10, 2023
New Office, Appointment of Dr. Michelle Paige Reaffirm NYC’s Commitment to Families
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today reaffirmed the city’s commitment to families by creating the Mayor’s Office for Child Care and Early Childhood Education. The new office will be led by Executive Director Dr. Michelle Paige and builds off of Mayor Adams’ Blueprint for Child Care and Early Childhood Education by focusing on ensuring New York City families have access to equitable, high-quality, and affordable early education and care. The office will lead strategy and coordinate planning among city agencies; foster innovation in partnership with families, providers, experts, and the private sector; and promote effective communication, policy advocacy, and public engagement.
“Today, we are making an historic investment in child care and early childhood education so that New York City families will have the support they need to flourish,” said Mayor Adams. “Not only will the new Mayor’s Office for Child Care and Early Childhood Education provide our early childhood students and their families with the support systems they need, but with Dr. Michelle Paige at the helm, I know we will give every child the opportunity to succeed. Early learning is the key to success for young children, and this administration is committed to making sure that all our children receive the support they need so that they can thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.”
“With the city’s first-ever office dedicated solely to early childhood care and education, the Adams administration is reaffirming its pledge first laid out in our child care blueprint to put working families first,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “With the expertise and experience of Dr. Michelle Paige, this office will streamline the child care process, remove red tape, and provide support to the entire sector. I look forward to working with Dr. Paige to deliver the quality, affordable, and equity-focused services our child care sector and New York City families deserve.”
“The new Mayor’s Office for Child Care and Early Childhood Education will help us in achieving a more safe, just, and equitable New York City for all children and families,” said New York City Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. “We are thrilled by Mayor Adams’ appointment of Dr. Michelle Paige, a dedicated child care leader with decades of experience serving New Yorkers, as executive director. Under her leadership, New York City will increase access for families to much-needed high-quality, affordable child care.”
“Early childhood education and child care continues to be a top priority in New York City. It is a very exciting moment and an honor to be appointed as the first executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education,” said Mayor’s Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education Executive Director Dr. Paige. “I look forward to supporting a dynamic team and facilitating interagency collaboration. Together, I am confident that we can continue to implement Mayor Adams’ ‘Blueprint for Child Care and Early Childhood Education’ and underscore his commitment to our youngest New Yorkers and their families.”
“Standing up an office that prioritizes early childhood care and education across New York City is yet another example of Mayor Adams’ commitment to children and their families,” said New York City Department of Education Deputy Chancellor of Early Childhood Education Dr. Kara H. Ahmed. “I am excited to work alongside Dr. Paige in her new role to move our collective early childhood vision forward for our city. I know that together, along with our many city partners, we will accomplish all the things New York City families and young children deserve.”
“Today’s announcement of Michelle Paige and the new Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education continues to make good on the city’s commitment to prioritize and strengthen our early childhood system,” said Wayne Ho, president and CEO, Chinese-American Planning Council. “We are delighted the mayor’s office believes that our early childhood system should be accessible for families, supportive of educators, high-quality for children, and streamlined for providers. As an organization that operates early childhood centers, provides child care referral services for working parents, and supports undocumented children in accessing care, we look forward to working with the new office to ensure the integration of family and provider voice into its decision-making and leadership, especially from Asian American and immigrant communities.”
“We know Dr. Michelle Paige to be an accomplished and visionary leader in the early childhood education and care field,” said Tara N. Gardner, executive director, Day Care Council of New York (DCCNY). “She has made her mark in strong and innovative community-based programs and is a trusted and active member of the Day Care Council of New York’s Advisory Committee. She has been a mentor to her peers in child care centers and family child care networks throughout the city. We applaud Mayor Adams for choosing a leader with deep on-the-ground experience caring for and educating young children and working with their families. DCCNY looks forward to working with Dr. Paige in her new role leading the Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education to build systems of early childhood education that meet the needs of all New York City families and respects and fully compensates hardworking teachers, staff, and directors who provide early care and education for New York’s families.”
“Michelle has been a transformative leader for University Settlement, advancing major initiatives including our operational response to COVID, our continuing commitment to embed mental health services into all of our programs, and our efforts to build an anti-racist organizational culture,” said Melissa Aase, CEO, University Settlement. “In 2021, 90 percent of children moving on from our center-based early childhood education programs were considered socially and emotionally ‘school-ready’ — a monumental feat considering the impact of COVID and a testament to Dr. Paige’s leadership of our programs. Her formidable leadership skills and penchant for solving problems big and small have only grown during her time with us — and we are thrilled about what her appointment means for the future of early childhood education services in New York City.”
“Dr. Michelle Paige is a committed professional with a deep understanding of New York City’s early childhood education system,” said Susan Stamler, executive director, United Neighborhood Houses. “I have had the pleasure of working with Michelle during her tenure at University Settlement and saw her dedication to improving the lives and well-being of New York City’s children. Fortunately for all of us, Michelle brings her smarts, her heart, and her energy to this new and exciting role as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education. With this appointment, the Adams administration gains an experienced leader who understands communities and the importance of supporting programs to meet the needs of families. I look forward to working with her to actualize the city’s goal of deepening and expanding quality early care and education programs.”
“The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF) celebrates the creation and launch of the new Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education under Mayor Adams,” said Ramon Peguero, president and CEO, CHCF. “For far too long, the early care and education system in New York City has been needlessly difficult to navigate for both families and the childcare workforce, as its oversight spans across four city agencies. With this new office, we hope to see the long-waited-for thoughtful and effective coordination of New York City’s child care sector, ensuring responsive access and support for the city’s families and child care programs. CHCF looks forward to working in partnership with the new team and will continue to encourage the direct input of all impacted stakeholders as we address system needs, including but not limited to parents, child care providers from all settings — both city-contracted and independent — as well as community-based partner organizations who continue to function as long-standing, culturally and linguistically responsive community supports within the sector.”
About Dr. Michelle Paige
Dr. Michelle Paige has dedicated her career to education in New York City for nearly 30 years. A member of a family dedicated to social justice through several generations, Dr. Paige chose education as a way to impact change for children and families. Her most recent position was as chief program and equity officer for University Settlement. In this role, she supported dynamic teams as they partnered with communities in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn to provide early childhood, youth, mental health, adult education, eviction prevention, older adult, and arts programs. She is also an adjunct professor at City University of New York (CUNY) Lehman College.
Dr. Paige began her professional journey as a New York City Board of Education early childhood and elementary school teacher in Queens for several years before she transitioned to early childhood leadership positions at Children’s Aid and then Union Settlement.
Dr. Paige earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from St. John’s University, Master of Science in Education from CUNY Queens College, and Doctor of Education in executive leadership from St. John Fisher University.
Dr. Paige will report to First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright.