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Don't Blame Reforms When the Problem is Overall Shortage

Interesting NYT article looks at some of the implications of Early Learn NYC--a groundbreaking effort by the city's Administration of Children and Families to combine Head Start, pre-k, and child care funds to create common quality standards, improve the quality of services for young children, more effectively target early care and education resources, and leverage private and philanthropic support.

Any time government entities try to reform and improve quality in a public service that spends lots of money in geographically dispersed contracts, there are going to be winners and losers--particularly in a city that has experienced significant demographic shifts--and that's part of what you're seeing here. More fundamentally, the real problem here isn't Early Learn NYC--it's that the need for subsidized child care in New York City vastly exceeds the resources available to help families--a situation that's hardly unique to the big apple. Child care resources nationally, which have never been especially generous, are taking hits in state and local budgets at just the time when the numbers of families who need them is rising.

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The opinions expressed in Sara Mead's Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.
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