New York Must Commit to Cutting Child Poverty in Half in Ten Years with a Focus on Racial Equity

Nearly one in five New York children lived in poverty in 2019 and the pandemic brought high unemployment statewide, significantly exacerbating child poverty. New York children are more likely to live in poverty than in 32 other states, with 18% experiencing poverty in 2019. In some New York communities the percentage of poor children exceeds 50%. Due to structural and systemic racism, child poverty among New York State children of color has long approached 30%. Research shows that this unacceptable level of child poverty costs New York over $60 billion a year.

  • Poverty affects the social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of developing children and babies. It creates and widens disparities and increases risk of school struggles and child welfare involvement.
  • Historical and ongoing structural racism in employment, housing, and education, among other realms, cause children of color to experience poverty at approximately twice the rate of white children.
  • The younger the child, the more likely they are to experience poverty. Our youngest children are our poorest New Yorkers.

New York State Budget Update

The American Rescue Plan is arguably the most consequential investment in the nation’s children in a generation. In New York, at least 712,000 children live in poverty. However, the Plan’s poverty fighting child tax credit leaves out an estimated 72,000 immigrant children in New York without a Social Security Number. Many are Dreamers who did not receive DACA, or children of essential workers. Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins can close the gap for the excluded children through bill A.3146-A/S.5866. (amendments pending). This would help New York’s low-income children as follows:

  • Immediately expand New York’s child tax credit to provide children in low-income families left out of the American Rescue Plan a credit of $1,000 for younger children (under four years of age) and $500 for older children (4-17); and
  • Apply and make permanent this expansion to all New York children, should the American Rescue Plan’s child tax credit enhancement lapse.

Read our letter to New York leaders.

Lawmakers, please co-sponsor the Child Poverty Reduction bill: S.2755A/A.1160
Partners, please sign your organization on to the campaign.
To stay informed, please sign up for our newsletter and engage with us on social media using #NYEndChildPoverty.

Reducing Child Poverty Core Workgroup
Children’s Defense Fund-New York
Citizens’ Committee for Children of NY (CCC)
NYS American Academy of Pediatrics, Chapters 1, 2 & 3
Prevent Child Abuse NY
Robin Hood
The Children’s Agenda
The Education Trust-New York
Westchester Children’s Association

Action for a Better Community
Alliance of New York State YMCAs
Bivona Child Advocacy Center
Early Care and Learning Council
Empire Justice Center
New York State Council of Churches
Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative
University of Rochester

The Latest

The New York State Budget must strengthen and expand the Empire State Child Tax Credit, especially for those left out of the federal child tax credit expansion, March 26, 2021  

Letter from Schuyler Center and anti-poverty, immigration and child advocacy partners from around the state calling for New York leaders to expand New York’s child tax credit to provide a NYS credit to children in low-income families largely left out of the American Rescue Plan, March 11, 2021

Presentation about Child Poverty Reduction in New York State by Schuyler Center’s Kate Breslin—along with Dia Bryant, The Education Trust–New York; Kimberley Chin, Children’s Defense Fund-NY; and Loris Toribio, Robin Hood Foundation. Presented at the New York State Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislators Living our Legacy event on February 27, 2021.

New York State Child Poverty Facts, February 18, 2021

Letter to NYS Legislators from NY child advocacy organizations asking them to include addressing child poverty is on budget priority list; become a co-sponsor of the Child Poverty Reduction Act S.2755-A (Ramos)/A.1160 (Bronson) and ensure it is included it in the budget bills, February 18, 2021

Memo in Support: S.2755-A/A.1160, February 16, 2021
The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy urges swift passage of S.2755-A (Ramos)/A.1160 (Bronson) that would have New York publicly commit to cutting child poverty in half by in ten years, with attention to racial equity, and require a plan to reach this goal and regular assessment of progress toward the goal.

Capital Tonight: Pediatrician: Child Poverty Can Become a Lifelong Ailment (PDF). January 14, 2021

Capital Tonight: Kate Breslin, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy President and CEO, discusses how advocates are using New York’s Climate Act as a model to tackle child poverty, December 21, 2020.

View a recording of a Facebook Live: Virtual Legislative Briefing on the NY Childhood Poverty Reduction Act S.9012/A.11063 by bill sponsors Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblymember Harry Bronson. Also participating in the briefing was Wes Moore, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation; Dr. Omolara Thomas Uwemedimo, a pediatrician and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics; and Norma Degante, a Children’s Defense Fund-New York College Navigator who participated in CDF-NY’s Beat the Odds program, December 15, 2020.