Our Voice

Salary Parity Explained

Five Things to Know about the Salary Parity Deal for Early Childhood Educators

By Tanya Krien and Marie Mason, Vice Presidents of Early Childhood Education

Learn about the Salary Parity deal for NYC early childhood teachers
The early childhood years are among the most important, as they set the stage for a child’s future success in education.

Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced a plan to raise pay for early childhood teachers. The tentative deal ensures that certified teachers who work in community-based organizations (CBOs) will earn the same starting salary as their Department of Education colleagues who teach in public schools. The increases will happen incrementally, with full parity being achieved by 2021. Hundreds of NYC early childhood teachers could see their pay increase by as much as $20,000 under this deal. While we, like most professionals who work in the field of early childhood education, have been rejoicing the news and consider it long overdue, the deal is mired in details (as are most) and involves considerations that have not been widely covered. Below are five details about the agreement, explained from an early childhood educator point of view. 

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Mother’s Day Reflection: Child Center Programs Benefit from Program Moms

By Tanya Krien, Vice President, Early Childhood Education, Administration and Operations

Our Corona Head Start students are working hard on their Mother’s Day projects.

Mother’s Day is a special time at our Head Start centers. Even children as young as 3 understand how much Mom means to them and enjoy the opportunity to express it.

At The Child Center of NY, we strive to honor moms every day, in ways that will impact not just their children, but the moms, themselves, and even The Child Center as a whole. Continue reading

Thank You, Sesame Street, for Tackling Homelessness

Lily, the homeless character in Sesame Street

Now, How to Go from Here

By Traci Donnelly, Chief Executive Officer

Lily, the homeless character in Sesame StreetSesame Street enjoys a well-earned reputation as a trailblazer not only in children’s television, but also in our society at large. From its portrayal and integration of minority characters in the 1970s to its more recent additions of characters with autism or incarcerated parents, it has a history of changing hearts and minds — as well as public policy. The iconic show is well on its way to doing just that for people experiencing homelessness, through the character of Lily, a 7-year-old girl whose family has lost their apartment and is living with friends, moving from home to home. Here are some things we hope Lily’s portrayal goes on to include. Continue reading

The Day After the Kavanaugh Hearings, at a Place that Works with Sexual Assault Survivors

Christine Blasey Ford

Christine Blasey FordBy Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

Revised October 3, 2018. This blog post has produced a very positive response and healthy debate and conversations. In respect for the opinions expressed by a few, we have revised some of the language — though not the essence — of this blog post. The Child Center of NY firmly believes that every voice deserves to be heard.

Women and men were in tears and visibly upset at work yesterday. Some may have been survivors of sexual assault themselves; and many of them, especially clinicians in our behavioral health division, have worked with clients who came to The Child Center for help dealing with what we know are the effects — long-term and short-term — of any sexual assault.

We were huddled around phones and computers, watching with astonishment and disbelief at the Kavanaugh hearings, at the questioning of Christine Blasey Ford, Ph.D., and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Our disbelief was grounded in our professional knowledge of how survivors of sexual assault should be treated, and this was not the way.

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Aggressive Attendance Initiative Brings Success to “Failing” School

Shows Students Have Had the Potential All Along

By Saran Shields, MSW
Community School Director, August Martin High School

Blog author Saran Shields with August Martin High School students

September is Attendance Awareness Month, and there’s no better place to spotlight the importance of attendance — and attendance efforts — than August Martin High School in South Jamaica, Queens. Continue reading

Grandparents as Parents Survival Guide

Tips for Grandparents Who Are Primary Caregivers

By Michele Neuhaus, Director, 0-5 Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative

September 9 is Grandparents Day, one of those holidays that’s seen as cluttering up the calendar and a ploy by the greeting card industry. It shouldn’t be.

In my line of work, I see a lot of families in which, for a variety of reasons, parents are unable to care for their young children, and it’s the grandparents who step in to fill the role of primary caretaker. According to census figures, 2.7 million grandparents nationwide are raising grandchildren, up 7 percent from 2009. It’s the epitome of unconditional love they are showing for both their children and grandchildren; it’s a truly wonderful thing.

Wonderful, but not necessarily easy. Continue reading

The Real People Affected by the Ohio State Domestic Violence Scandal

By Yolanda Vega, LMSW
Associate Director, Elmhurst Family Center

At The Child Center of NY, our primary concern is always for the whole family — and how it affects the children’s overall well-being.

So when I hear about high-profile cases of domestic violence, my first thought is always how the situation affects the children: those directly involved (e.g., the abuser’s children) as well as those with no direct involvement but whose sense of the world is being formed by what they hear of it — especially from the people they love and trust.

It seems this was the last thing on the minds of anyone involved in the case of Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer Continue reading

On the Separation of Migrant Families at the Southern Border

By Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

A famous quote, often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, states that a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. Children depend entirely on others and are therefore the most vulnerable among us. Living up to our responsibility to our children is our most sacred obligation. Continue reading

Stepping Up: Recognizing Men Who Show Up, in Places Where We Think They Aren’t

 

By Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

Manny Fiallo Jr.

Far Rockaway lost a giant of the community last year with the death of the incomparable Manny Fiallo Jr. Manny was a larger than life figure who, at the same time, managed to be relatable and approachable, and always had time for you — no matter who “you” were. In a neighborhood that’s seen more than its share of violence, less than its share of opportunity, and was on the verge of losing hope, Manny stood up to change things. He was dedicated to stopping the violence and embracing the potential in every kid. Manny never considered a child — or adult, for that matter — beyond hope, and he showed us he was right.

I’d say his passing left a void in the community, but perhaps the best thing we can say about a leader when he passes is that he leaves not a void, but a legacy. Continue reading

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