Building a High-Quality Child Care and Early Learning Infrastructure for all New Yorkers

The earliest years of a child’s life, from birth to age three, are a critical period for healthy brain development, and lay the groundwork for future educational achievement, economic productivity, and lifelong health. That’s why Robin Hood is focused on investing in – and improving – every element of our society that interacts with our children. 

Equitable access to affordable, high-quality child care is essential in the fight against poverty.

Research shows time and time again that equitable access to affordable, high-quality, and culturally responsive child care and early learning opportunities are essential, as they equip children with tools and experiences that are developmentally necessary for future success. New York City is home to 100,000 children ages 0-3 who are living below the poverty line. Without access to affordable, high-quality child care, these young children will continue to fall further behind the starting line.

Child care access also enables children’s parents and caregivers to consistently earn income to support their families. Without it, many of these caregivers predominantly women of color – will be further hindered from fully engaging in the workforce, or from attaining educational milestones associated with increased opportunities to permanently escape poverty.


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Robin Hood research found that having a child is one of the life events most closely associated with prompting New Yorkers to fall back into poverty – even more than losing a job. Roughly 15% of the child care workforce lives below the official poverty line and at least 65% of child care workers receive some type of public benefit due to low wages. Without higher wages and opportunities for career advancement, the number of child care providers will continue to shrink, with vulnerable young children and their families getting hit hardest.


Our city is at a critical point. To get families back on their feet, get kids back on track, and get New Yorkers back to work, we must develop a sustainable infrastructure that supports accessible and affordable high-quality child care. 

Robin Hood aims to reimagine New York’s child care system to work better for parents, children, and child care providers by: 

1) Working with policymakers to remove administrative barriers – including expanding child care subsidies – to ensure that child care funding is effectively and efficiently allocated

2) Increasing compensation for early child care workers, a population largely comprised of women of color who provide essential care during the most critical period of a child’s development

4) Improving the quality of child care through training and professional development 

5) Sharing evidence-based practices that have shown to improve the socio-emotional and cognitive development of children  

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See how Robin Hood is supporting the work of our community partners in the child care sector

Shanette Linton, All Our Kin family child care provider and Founder of Little Leaders Group Family Daycare, Bronx, NY

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