Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Corey Johnson, and Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced addenda to the Birth-to-Five RFP and Head Start/Early Head Start RFP.
The addenda to the Birth-to-Five RFP and Head Start/Early Head Start RFP that will support community-based early care and education providers with greater financial stability. Written in partnership with the City Council and after hearing extensive feedback from advocates and community-based providers, these addenda will raise the funding floor for awarded providers, support indirect costs and cost increases over the contract term, and strengthen the partnership between the Department of Education and community-based providers.
“I’ve put early childhood education front and center as Mayor because it’s our first tool for improving the lives of every New Yorker and making this the fairest big city in the country,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’ve heard the voices of community advocates and the Council and are committed to ensuring early childhood education providers have the stability and funding they need to put our kids on the path to success inside and outside the classroom.”
“This is a huge win for our city,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. “Community-based early care and education providers helping to raise a new generation of New Yorkers. They deserve all the support we can give them and nothing less.”
“Pre-K and 3-K for All would not be possible without the phenomenal work and dedication of our community-based providers,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “We’ve met with and listened to numerous advocates and providers, and we’re excited to strengthen our partnership with these providers and continue to work together to provide high-quality early care and education to New York City children and families.”
The specific changes to the RFPs include:
- To make it easier for providers to meet their programmatic needs, and help fill seats, DOE has increased the up-front payments providers receive by January of each school year to three-quarters of their contract value, a 10% increase over the original RFP. Providers that have enrollment greater than 75% will receive an enhanced payment, and those with at least 93% enrollment will receive their full contract value.
- Additionally, the DOE will continue to provide extensive enrollment support to all CBOs to ensure that programs are able to fill seats and families are able to receive high-quality care that meets their needs. This includes:
Access to a multilingual outreach team that reaches thousands of families every year and will partner with providers to reach out to families specifically in their communities;
Support for families, including a mobile-friendly application, in-person support at 12 Family Welcome Centers, and application support available in over 200 languages;
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Outdoor and digital advertisements with targeting based on neighborhood language;
Marketing materials for programs like palm cards, posters, and banners;
One-on-one support to under-enrolled programs.
- Consistent with the policy developed by the Nonprofit Resiliency Committee in partnership with nonprofits and the City Council, providers may budget for up to 10 percent of indirect costs if that is what is required within the budget and program model. That number may be higher if approved by the federal government or verified by a CPA.
- Providers’ cost increases during the contract term will be addressed if and when the city certifies that industry-wide labor costs increase, or if the individual provider demonstrates reasonable increases in occupancy cost.
- Contracted providers can propose to offer 8-10 hour-per-day, year-round programming, and the City will award as many of these seats as possible, pending available funds.
- DOE has synchronized the deadline for providers to respond to both the Birth-to-Five RFP and the Head Start RFP, extending the Birth-to-Five deadline so that both are on June 13.
“Our community-based providers have been essential to the success of Pre-K and 3-K for All and integral to communities across this City,” said Deputy Chancellor of Early Childhood and Student Enrollment Josh Wallack. “We’ve listened to their concerns, and we’re excited to take this step forward in partnership with them and with the support of our Mayor, our Chancellor, and the City Council. We’ll continue to partner with our CBOs to provide high-quality programs for New York City children and families.”
“This is great news for our youth,” said Chair of the Council Committee on Finance Daniel Dromm. “As a former daycare director, I know that early childhood education is the backbone of a young person’s education. I am pleased that the city was able to deliver for community-based early care and education providers who do so much for our students. These hardworking professionals need and deserve this financial support.”
“CBO providers are the backbone of our early childhood education system, but far too many are struggling with financial instability, jeopardizing their ability to meet the needs of the children and families who depend on them. As Chair of the Committee on Education, I have heard from providers from across the City, who have shared their concerns about being able to continue serving their communities,” said Chair of the Council Committee on Education Mark Treyger. “These addenda will help address many of the issues that the Council has heard from providers by ensuring base levels of funding, increasing enrollment supports, and providing flexible support for indirect costs and new needs like rent increases. I am proud that the Council, under Speaker Corey Johnson’s leadership, Mayor de Blasio, and Chancellor Carranza worked together to improve these RFPs, based on input from providers and advocates, and to extend the response deadline, giving providers time to adjust their proposals to the expanded RFP, which now allows for full-year and extended day programming. There is more work to do, but this is a significant step forward towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of UPK and 3-K, which have been transformative programs for our city’s children and families.”
Together we are taking a critical step forward in ensuring that the DOE’s birth-to-five system meets the needs of community-based providers and allows them to provide the highest possible quality of care to children and families,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. “I thank my colleagues in the early childhood community, the City Council, and the Administration for their advocacy. There’s always more to be done, but we’re well on our way!”
“Citizens’ Committee for Children appreciates the effort made to address concerns raised with the birth to five RFPs and believes the addenda put forward today represent progress on indirect costs, cost escalation, year-round services and the payment structure underwriting contracts,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director, Citizens’ Committee for Children. “We look forward to working with the Administration and the City Council to build on this progress and achieve an adopted budget that includes salary parity for the early education workforce.”
“United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) cares deeply about quality early childhood education and is pleased that changes to the Birth-to-Five RFPs will strengthen community-based programs,” said Susan Stamler, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses. “We also look forward to working with the Administration and the City Council to achieve full salary parity in the budget so that programs can hire and retain qualified staff to educate and care for New York City’s children.”