Credit: Michael Palma Mir

First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery announced Oct. 21 a new initiative from the NYC Children’s Cabinet entitled Growing Up NYC.

Growing Up NYC provides guidance to city agencies about how to prioritize and implement policies and programs that advance the well-being of children and young adults ages 0-24, allowing parents and caregivers to easily access a vast array of resources for raising a family in New York City.

“I remember bringing Chiara home from the hospital in her car seat. We put her down on the couch, still in her car seat, looked at each other and thought, ‘What do we do next?’” said McCray.

“Like many who are new to parenting, Bill and I had no family nearby to help us with our many questions. Growing Up NYC is a wonderful digital how-to resource to help parents navigate raising children in New York City—which we all know can be tough. It provides parents with a treasure trove of information, from developmental milestones to updates about free family fun. And busy parents can access it on-the-go, from the phone in their pocket.”

The Growing Up NYC digital platform is a new City of New York resource for parents and caregivers. A “mobile first” platform, accessible by phone, tablet or computer at nyc.gov/GrowingUpNYC, the digital guide is designed to help millions of New York parents access city services, programs and events for families and children up to age 12.

Parents will be able to access many resources, including after-school programs, parenting classes, temporary cash assistance programs and locations to find fresh foods in their neighborhoods, all at their fingertips.

A hard-copy resource guidebook that contains expanded information for youth up to age 24 will be available in libraries across the city.

“We believe that New York City is the best place in America to raise children, and we’ve invested in a range of programs—from pre-K for All to Schools Out New York City—that are making it better by the day,” said Buery. “By making information about New York City’s many programs and parenting resources available through a 21st-century digital tool, Growing Up NYC allows parents and caregivers to access the best that our city has to offer. Together with the new policy framework to help city agencies invest in programs that will have the greatest impact on child-well-being, the Children’s Cabinet continues to create opportunities for our youngest New Yorkers to reach their full potential.”

The NYC Children’s Cabinet is a multi-agency initiative created by Mayor Bill de Blasio to bolster communication and coordination among city agencies and provides a space to identify and analyze individual and common areas of work that affect child safety and well-being. The Cabinet is chaired by Buery and comprises commissioners and directors from 24 city agencies and mayoral offices.

The Children’s Cabinet promotes opportunities to develop partnerships and efficiencies, allowing each agency’s efforts to build off each other and produce a greater cumulative impact on youth and their families.

Growing Up NYC builds off previous Children’s Cabinet campaigns, including Talk to Your Baby and NYC Baby Showers, that address the developmental needs of children from birth to age 3. The Cabinet’s new policy framework will support the cognitive, social-emotional and physical development of all New York City children by shaping city policies, agency practices and program development around five key elements.

“Growing Up NYC will make it easier for families to discover the extraordinary free programs and resources available in Brooklyn’s public libraries,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “That’s great news for children who will find their first favorite books at our story time sessions, students who will enroll in our after-school STEM programs and families whose lives will be enriched by their interactions with our dedicated, knowledgeable librarians.”

Additionally, the policy framework provides the Office of Management and Budget with a decision-making tool to align agency program proposals with the new framework to prioritize necessary investments.

Each year, the Cabinet will assess the implementation of Growing Up NYC and how its investments in children are affecting the well-being indicators. Findings will be made available through the Annual Scorecard for Child Well-Being and Safety.

For more information on Growing up NYC, visit http://www1.nyc.gov/site/childrenscabinet/initiatives/growing-up-nyc.page.