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New York

Our lead allies in the state of New York, the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, is a 150-year-old statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to policy analysis and advocacy in support of public systems that meet the needs of disenfranchised populations and people living in poverty—particularly children and families. The Schuyler Center partners with the Alliance for Quality Education, and together with numerous partners, they lead the Empire State Campaign for Child Care. The Alliance for Quality Education is a statewide coalition of community organizing groups organizing parents in Black, brown and low income communities on early education and K-12 public education, advocating for educational, racial and economic justice.

New York State Early Childhood Policy Landscape
2023 State Early Childhood Policy Environment and Progress

State early childhood policy progress is dependent both on the state’s policy environment and the numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

Early Childhood Landscape:

Research shows that family economic security is foundational to children’s overall wellbeing. Research also shows that widespread disparities in opportunity (especially by race) drive wide disparities in outcomes. States with policies that offer strong support to young children and their families are more likely to see 1) declining numbers of children in low-income households and 2) low racial disparity among those children. 

Young Children in Low-Income Households: Declining

Approximately 37% (716,000) of the state’s children 0-8 live in households below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (2021). This number represents a decrease from 42% (848,000) in 2016.1

Racial Disparity Among Young Children Living in Low-Income Households: High

Black, Hispanic/Latino, and/or Native children aged 0-8 are significantly more likely to be living in households below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level than are Asian and non-Hispanic White children.2

Advocacy Landscape:

State General Fund Appropriations: Growing 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the state’s fiscal 2024 budget into law on May 3. The budget for fiscal 2024 calls for $229.0 billion in spending from all funds, a 3.9 percent increase over fiscal 2023, and $125.3 billion in state operating funds, a 1.3 percent increase. General fund spending, including transfers, is expected to total $104.4 billion in fiscal 2024, a 12.5 percent increase over fiscal 2023. All funds receipts are expected to total $224.3 billion, a 4.6 percent annual decrease, while general fund receipts (excluding the pass-through entity tax), are projected at $102.4 billion in fiscal 2024, a 2.7 percent decrease. After deposits to reserves, the state closed fiscal 2023 with principal reserves totaling $19.5 billion (16 percent of state operating funds).3

Largest Per Capita Revenue Sources (after federal transfers) (FY 2021):4

    • Individual IncomeTaxes: $3,512 per capita
    • Property Taxes: $3,301 per capita

New York uses all major state and local taxes.. 

Political Alignment: Aligned Democrat

During the 2023 session, the state’s Senate and House were both Democrat controlled. The state’s Governor was also a Democrat.5

Types of Common Ballot Measures Available:6  Two

    • Legislature-Initiated Constitutional Amendments – A constitutional amendment that appears on a state’s ballot as a ballot measure because the state legislature in that state voted to put it before the voters.
    • Automatic Ballot Referrals – Such as the constitutional convention question that goes on the ballot every 20 years or at the discretion of the state legislature.

Early Childhood Policy Advocacy Organizations Include:

Early Childhood Policy Advocacy Multi-State Initiatives Include:7

A New York coalition of advocates is working with Child Care NEXT funding on a sustained effort to pursue bold transformation for the state’s child-care ecosystem.  

2023 Policy Progress:

The state legislative session featured important, but partial solutions in place of bold and transformative policy. Progress includes an expansion of the Empire State Child Tax Credit to include babies and toddlers under age four, a historic update to the child welfare housing subsidy, and notable investments in child care and pre-K that will expand access to affordable, high-quality early education to many more NY families.

Highlights from the state’s early childhood policy advocacy community include5:

The passed New York State budget includes $500M of reprogrammed funds for a third round of stabilization grants for child care workforce retention initiatives. New York anticipates directing approximately $3,000 to each member of the full-time direct care child care workforce, and approximately $2,300 to those working in afterschool programs. 

In this year’s budget, New York invests $1.045B (baseline) plus $376M to expand child care assistance subsidy eligibility to 85% of SMI; maintain subsidy rate at the 80th percentile of the market rate; cap co-pays at 1% of income over FPL; continue 12-month eligibility for subsidies; cover 80 absences per child per year. The eligibility increase from the current 300% of FPL to 85% of SMI (approximately to $93,500 for a family of 4) will extend eligibility to an estimated 113,000 children.

This year’s budget includes additional funding for child care, including approximately $5.4 million for a new pilot program to expand access to children regardless of immigration status and episodic workers with income of less than 400% of FPL. This marks the first time that NYS will provide child care assistance without regard to immigration status.

The State added funding to the full day pre-K program, allowing all districts to apply for the $100 million in additional Universal PreKindergarten allocation or the $25 million in the statewide full day pre-K competitive grant. The $100 million in UPK funding has the potential of serving another 15,000 4 year-olds, bringing the state to offering pre-K to 70% of eligible children. Additionally, New York State fulfilled its commitment to fully fund public schools, adding another $2.6 billion in general operating aid, also known as Foundation Aid, bringing all schools up to 100% of funding. 

This year’s NYS budget includes an expansion of the Empire State Child Tax Credit to include babies and toddlers ages 0-3. Starting next year, the child tax credit will reach an additional 900,000 children statewide. It will be the first time since the credit was created in 2006 that children under 4 years old are included in the state child tax credit. By expanding the credit to include the youngest New Yorkers, our leaders have strengthened an important tool in reducing child poverty. This is an expansion Schuyler Center has sought for many years; this expansion is an important first step toward a more inclusive child tax credit. 

This year’s budget includes an historic update to the child welfare housing subsidy. Starting next year, the child welfare housing subsidy will increase from $300/month to $725/month, a long overdue update to a subsidy that has not been increased since it was established in 1988. This subsidy is a lifeline to families involved in the system; a tool to keep families safely together in their homes, and to provide financial support to youth aging out of foster care as they transition to independence.

The legislature passed legislation that will end the outdated restriction on families receiving child care assistance that currently ties the hours a child can attend child care to the exact hours parents are working or pursuing their education. Parents with fluctuating schedules in sectors such as retail, restaurants, healthcare, and the gig economy will benefit from the certainty that this legislation will provide. Having the choice to receive full time care will allow parents to better support their families and ensure their children can receive consistent early education on their terms. It also will prevent child care providers from having to scramble with little notice to increase their staffing based on week-to-week schedule fluctuations while providing peace of mind that they will receive payment for full time care.

Additionally, the legislature passed, and the Governor signed the Child Poverty Reduction Act, committing the State to reduce child poverty by 50% over 11 years. The Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council first convened in October 2022. Subsequently, the state made some progress down the path to cutting child poverty in half, but there were also some moments when Council members were disappointed with the body’s progress. It was a solid first year, with considerable work to be done in the future.



Ongoing Grantee Areas of Advocacy:

The Alliance’s lead grantees in New York, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy & Alliance for Quality Education New York, are working to advance early childhood policies in several areas that align with the Alliance’s birth-through-eight policy framework:

Early Care and Education

Child Care

Child Care Workforce

Child and
Maternal Health

Maternal Health

Infant & Child Health


Family Economic Security

Child Welfare

Home Visiting

Early Childhood Infrastructure

Click here, here and here for more information on advocates’ policy agenda.



1 Kids Count Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Children Ages 0 to 8 Below 200 Percent Poverty, November, 2022 

2 National Center for Children in Poverty, Children Ages 0 to 8 Below 200 Percent Poverty, March 2023, NCCP analysis of ACS 1-Year Estimates – Public Use Microdata Sample 2021

3 National Association of State Budget Officers, Summaries of Fiscal Year 2024 Enacted Budgets, October 11, 2023.

4 Urban Institute, State Fiscal Briefs, July 2023

5 National Conference of State Legislatures, 2023 State & Legislative Partisan Composition, February 28, 2023.

6 Ballotpedia, Ballot Measures by State, Kids Count Data Center, retrieved May, 2023.

7 Alliance for Early Success, Multi-State Initiatives for Early Childhood Policy Advocacy, April, 2022.

8 Alliance for Early Success, State-Wide Advocacy Highlights Survey, April-August, 2023.  

More State Policy Data:

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More State Demographic Data:

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