March 29, 2023
Video available at: https://youtu.be/3D4UNDFF2R0
Simplified Child Care Application Kicks Off New Portal to Make City Services More Accessible to New
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, and New York City Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser today announced the first phase of the launch of the MyCity portal, a one-stop shop for city services and benefits, that will make it easier for New Yorkers to interact with and access the support of a multitude of city agencies. Beginning today, MyCity users will be able to easily check eligibility, apply for, and track services and benefits in the city’s 10 most common languages, as well as securely save their information and documentation for future applications as they apply for child care. The launch of this first phase of MyCity delivers on a promise made by Mayor Adams to create a user-friendly interface that allows for the close collaboration of the numerous agencies involved and provides easier access to city government for New Yorkers. Later this year, the Adams administration will launch phase two of the MyCity portal to assist job seekers and small business owners.
“New Yorkers are busy 24/7 so today we are making it easier for New Yorkers to access city services — 24/7,” said Mayor Adams. “The newly launched MyCity online portal will allow New Yorkers to go online, easily search, apply for, and track city services and benefits right from their smartphones or computers — and we’re starting by spotlighting child care. For the first time, families who need help paying for child care can apply in one place, with one application. We are using the power of technology to reduce the bureaucracy and red tape in our government, to help New Yorkers get the services their taxes pay for, and to ‘Get Stuff Done’ for the working people of this city.”
MyCity Services section where New Yorkers will seek services and benefits.
“With the launch of the MyCity portal, the Adams administration is making government work for working families,” said First Deputy Mayor Wright. “For too long, families had to navigate endless red tape, a broken bureaucracy, and a needlessly complicated system to access critical child care services. MyCity takes child care into the 21st century and finally delivers a quality, easy-to-use portal that meets the needs of working families.”
“Whether you are a parent trying to learn about child care resources, a person in need of food assistance, or someone connecting with the city to see what other supports might be available for you or your family, there is nothing more frustrating than having to work through an arduous, opaque process,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Resources Anne Williams-Isom. “That’s all changing with MyCity, which will enable New Yorkers to move through one portal to seek a variety of services, check their status, and hold their information in a central place. The new portal will make accessing city services simpler, more efficient, and more user-friendly.”
“New Yorkers deserve a better user experience when interacting with city government,” said New York City Chief Technology Officer and New York City Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI) Commissioner Fraser. “MyCity raises the bar for the way New York City delivers services and benefits — creating a central hub to check eligibility in real-time, submit applications, see service status, and safely store documentation for future use. I thank the Office of Technology and Innovation team and our agency partners for their tireless work in delivering on Mayor Adams’ vision of a more efficient, modern government. We are eager to see the impact this has on the lives of New Yorkers and to continue adding services to MyCity.”
“To help raise our next generation of leaders and community members, we must work to provide our families the tools and resources they need to set our youngest New Yorkers up for success,” said New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks. “The MyCity portal will allow families to understand and obtain the services that are available to them, making assistance easier to obtain. I’m immensely proud of our city leaders and agencies for working hand-in-hand to make this possible for our children and families.”
“Families seeking quality child care for their little one deserve an inviting, modern, and user-friendly experience — and the MyCity portal will provide exactly that,” said New York City Administration for Children Services (ACS) Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. “Now, applying for child care assistance will be easier than ever before, allowing our dedicated ACS team to get much-needed child care vouchers into the hands of thousands more families. I want to thank Mayor Adams, First Deputy Mayor Wright, Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom, and Chief Technology Officer Fraser for their leadership in envisioning and realizing this critical advancement for New York City families.”
“New York City parents and caretakers have long deserved a clear, accessible, and supportive way to apply for child care assistance, and MyCity has delivered this opportunity,” said New York City Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education Executive Director Michelle Paige. “MyCity guides the parents and caretakers through the child care assistance application, streamlining the application experience by only asking for the information that is necessary. The Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education is excited that this resource is designed to be accessible in multiple languages and accommodates families with disabilities through enabled screen readers. The launch of MyCity is a huge win for families seeking child care assistance and for the providers that are here to care for and educate New York City’s youngest learners. Thank you to all of the teams that worked diligently to support our families.”
“Governor Hochul has prioritized making child care more accessible, affordable, and equitable for all New Yorkers, and OCFS is thrilled to be partnering with ACS to make that a reality,” said Suzanne Miles-Gustave, acting commissioner, State Office of Children and Family Services. “The MyCity online child care assistance portal will significantly improve the application process for New York City families. By offering it in 10 languages and with screen readers, it aligns with the state’s promise to open doors to child care programs for historically underserved communities. This tool complements our new online screening app and OCFS remains committed to assisting with further system enhancements across the state to boost access to these invaluable family supports.”
MyCity will rebuild city services from the ground up to meet the modern needs of New Yorkers. Anyone with an internet connection on their phone or computer will be able to log onto mycity.nyc.gov using their IDNYC login or by using an existing email address to authenticate their account. For government agencies, MyCity will act as a centralized data repository that enables greater information sharing across government agencies to achieve faster results for New Yorkers.
The launch is the result of a cross-government collaboration between OTI, ACS, DOE, the New York City Department of Social Services, and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Before today’s launch, the city conducted months of user-testing sessions where New Yorkers unaffiliated with the project shared invaluable feedback.
Today’s phase one launch features the new streamlined child care assistance application, which sets a new benchmark for digital government services by consolidating a complicated paper application used by multiple government agencies (DOE and ACS) into a single online form that is expected to serve tens of thousands of New Yorkers annually and dramatically reduce the often confusing and time-consuming elements of the paper application as New Yorkers apply for and receive assistance. Once an application is submitted, agency staff will review the application and provide status updates to applicants through MyCity. Families will also be able to self-screen to determine whether they may be eligible for assistance before they even apply. Reducing the need for paper applications — the majority of which were rejected because of missing required documents — will further streamline and improve the application process. Families will still be able to mail in paper applications if they prefer that option. Phase one of MyCity also directs New Yorkers to existing resources for small businesses owners and job seekers, as well as to the city’s benefits screener.
The first phase of MyCity’s launch not only continues Mayor Adams’ efforts to expand access to affordable child care services, but also does so by streamlining government and breaking down silos. In June 2022, the Adams administration released “Accessible, Equitable, High-quality, Affordable: A Blueprint for Child Care & Early Childhood Education in New York City,” which expanded access to child care for the city’s 500,000 children under five years old and committed to making $800 million in additional child care investments over the next four years — raising allocated funding for child care spending to approximately $2 billion.
“As a parent, I understand how difficult it is to track down multiple paper applications and figure out how and where to submit them,” said New York State Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton. “The MyCity Virtual Portal is going to change the way that NYC residents apply for these city services and benefits by making this process less complicated and combining these applications into one easily accessible hub. This portal is going to make the lives of so many parents easier.”
“I’m excited by the launch of the MyCity portal, and I’m hopeful that it will be seamless and provide support for all New Yorkers who interact with various city services,” said New York City Councilmember Jennifer Gutiérrez, chair, Committee on Technology. “The need to modernize the delivery of city benefits and resources is long overdue, and the promise of the MyCity portal could be transformative for millions of New Yorkers.”