Two New York City Council members introduced legislation that could make free summer camp a possibility for all NYC families on Feb. 11. Removing expenses from the camp equation could make camp a reality for more kids, especially those in families who might not be able to afford expensive camps. Time Out New York Kids reports that the Universal Summer Youth Programs aims to solidify the budget for the city’s current free summer camp options, and bring free community-based camp options to all kids by the summer of 2022. Right now, the funding for existing free camp programs is approved as late as June, way past the time parents are solidifying camp plans.
Universal Summer Youth Programs was introduced by Debi Rose (Staten Island) and Ben Kallos (Manhattan). "Summer programs are invaluable experiences that build self-esteem, social skills, leadership skills and friendships in a safe, constructive environment. They also help curb summer learning loss," Rose said in a statement, according to Time Out. "It is time we build on our successes with early childhood education in the city and give all students seeking a spot in a summer program the opportunity to participate."
Providing free, outdoor-based summer camps has the potential to make summer easier for many families. Rose, Kallos, and Mark Treyger (Brooklyn) also recently introduced the idea of making after-school options free for all students, NY Daily News reports, an inclusive step that mirrors Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inclusive Pre-K and 3-K for All programs. For more information on Universal Summer Youth Progams, head to the City Council website—and since it’s not 2022 yet, check out this comprehensive guide to New York City camps. There’s a camp for every kid. Find the perfect one for your child in this list!