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May 04, 2012

Contact:, (212) 341-0999 or (212) 788-2958

Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Gibbs and ACS Commissioner Richter Announce Transformation of Early Child Care With EarlyLearn NYC

New Approach to Early Care and Education Focuses on School Readiness -- 149 Recommended Awardees to Provide EarlyLearn NYC

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs and Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Ronald E. Richter today announced the recommended awards for EarlyLearn NYC, the innovative new system that will transform early child care for all children served by the City’s subsidized early childhood system. EarlyLearn NYC will include and - standardize - education throughout the system and provide: family support services including nutrition, health and mental health services; child assessments to track children’s progress; support services to children with special needs; and increased professional development for center staff. One hundred and forty-nine recommended awardees have been selected based on their high standards of quality, organizational capability and relevant experience from a citywide request for proposals from community-based partners. This ground-breaking educational model, which will include Child Care and Head Start centers and home-based programs serving low income families, will build on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s commitment to providing students with the support and tools they need to succeed and reach their full potential.

“EarlyLearn NYC revolutionizes early child care in New York City by standardizing education as part of child care,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It gives us the opportunity to transform the system from the ground up and bring quality early care and education to New York’s neediest and youngest children during the critical developmental years of their lives.”

“Investment in high-quality early child care education is essential to produce a competitive and highly skilled work force,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “The early care and education that our youngest residents receive will better prepare them to take advantage of opportunities in our City’s schools and support them throughout their adult lives.”

“EarlyLearn NYC is the most significant innovation in New York City’s early care and education system in fifty years,” said Ronald E. Richter, Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services. “We will be providing the working families of this City higher quality services in our neighborhoods of greatest need.

“EarlyLearn NYC is a key ingredient in preparing New York City’s youngest learners for kindergarten,” said Schools Chancellor Walcott. “High-quality early childhood programs provide children with skills they need to succeed in elementary school and, ultimately, college and careers.”

“It is important for children to learn healthy behaviors from an early age,” said NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “EarlyLearn NYC will enrich our early childhood care programs with nutritional services to help us make all New York City children healthier.”

“EarlyLearn NYC uses program elements that research has identified as exemplary and implements best practices,” said Myung Lee, ACS Deputy Commissioner of Child Care and Head Start. “This new system will be better for children and better for New York City.”

EarlyLearn NYC brings quality early care and education to New York’s neediest children by merging child care and early education into a single, seamless system for children and families in greatest need, locating programs and classrooms near the homes of the lowest income families. Multiple factors defined and assessed community need including the concentration and number of eligible children (at or below 200 percent and 100 percent of Federal poverty level), children receiving child welfare services, and the location of Section 8 Housing vouchers and Public Housing Assistance within New York City. Under EarlyLearnNYC, 86 percent of the children eligible for care reside in neighborhoods with the highest need.

Additionally, EarlyLearn NYC will better support families by expanding the capacity of infant and toddler child care programs and helping children develop socially and intellectually during the most important years of their learning lives; 90 percent of brain development occurs before age five making it critically important to stimulate young minds as early as possible. Program hours for all age groups will be extended to a minimum of eight and a maximum of 10 hours per day to help working parents care for their children.

For a complete list of EarlyLearn NYC recommended awardees, go to