PROMISE NYC: Child Care Assistance for Undocumented Families

Mayor Eric Adams launched a new child care assistance program for undocumented families who do not qualify for federally subsidized child care by January 2023. The city expects to support at least 600 children over the next six months.

“Every child deserves the chance to succeed, no matter where they come from, and as a city of immigrants, we know that the American dream begins here in New York City,” Adams said in a statement. “Overcoming obstacles in a new city and a new country are difficult, and combining those issues with a lack of child care can prevent parents and families from achieving the dream they so desperately set out to achieve.”

Adams said Promise NYC will ease the stress on undocumented parents supporting their children.

In it historic two-day supervision hearings Convened by the City Council to review the current handling of the immigration crisis on December 19 and 20, city officials and community groups testified on how to better serve “New York’s newest neighbors.” The timing of the Promise NYC child care program will certainly help newly arrived asylum seekers find stable housing and employment, but it has been a long overdue change for many.

“Prior to this announcement, undocumented children did not have access to child care, which means they were excluded from some of the city’s early childhood education programs,” said Randi Levine, policy director for Advocates for Children of New York. “It predates this influx of asylum seekers.”

Undocumented and other children were not eligible for existing programs because of restrictive federal immigration rules, namely the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, Levine said.

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