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NEPAC's Impact in the Early Care and Education Sector: Part 1, New York City 

Written by LIIF Early Care and Education Team

In August 2022, LIIF launched a National Early Care and Education Practitioners Advisory Committee (NEPAC) as part of its efforts to center the voices of providers. The group comprises leaders in the early care and education (ECE) field who have successfully used LIIF grant funds in the past. Our aligned values are sustainability, equity, respect, dignity and change, and our NEPAC geographies served are New York City, California and Washington, D.C. 
These providers work daily to set up all children for success – no matter the ZIP code into which they are born. Via listening and learning circles, the collaborative ideates and shares best practices around issues running the gamut from policy to climate mitigation to co-location of child care in affordable housing developments. 

Below are highlights from NEPAC’s New York City members, so you can learn about them, their capstone projects and their vision for their community. 

Member Profiles

Doris Irizarry, ECE on the Move 
“We are the force behind the workforce!” 

Bio. Doris Irizarry is a dedicated child care provider with over 25 years of experience and is the Co-Founder of ECE on the Move. She is an active provider advocate of ECE On The Move and the Empire State Campaign for Child Care. Irizarry has spent years creating relationships with providers and the families which they serve to mobilize them into impactful actions addressing the child care crisis in New York City. 

Capstone Project. Irizarry looks to be a fearless and dedicated advocate for child care justice, putting in the work to ensure that all providers have a voice in new policies that impact them.

Gladys Jones, ECE on the Move  
“To victory for child care!” 

Bio. Gladys Jones is the founder and CEO of ECE on the Move, a grassroots organization of more than 600 early childhood educators working in residential settings throughout New York City. The organization was formed in 2018 when Jones became tired of the lack of respect and representation she was seeing in politics and policies that affected the family child care sector. She is a winner of the 2023 Community Change Champions Award; the 2022 Grassroots Leadership Award from Alliance for Quality Education; a 2021 Family Values @ Work GameChanger Award; the Hispanic Heritage Month Award from The Committee for Hispanic Children; and was a 2021 David Prize finalist.  

Capstone project. Jones is a leading voice in pursuit of change, pursuing a bold vision that includes living wages for educators and quality services to children and families – regardless of income. She is an active leader of the Empire State Campaign for Child Care and the Child Care Next Initiative. 

Shanita Bowen, ECE on the Move  
Paying Black and Brown women substandard rates to care for children is systemic racism. When you keep us down, you keep generations in poverty.

Bio. Shanita Bowen is the Chief Operating Officer for ECE On the Move. She is tapped into the current child care crisis and is best known in New York City for her advocacy work that includes testifying before the Standing Senate Committee on Child Care. Shanita is a Public Voices Fellow with the OpEd Project in partnership with the National Black Child Development Institute; serves on the child care workgroup with Raising NY–Ed Trust; is part of the Child Care Next Initiative; and is the Co-chair of the Steering Committee for Empire State Campaign for Child Care, which is a committee representing Empire State Campaign for child care’s extensive membership of child-centered organizations who are working to address statewide child care issues.

Capstone project. Bowen is focusing on the systemic issues in offering and obtaining child care. She is advocating for $20million for children whose immigration status is preventing them from receiving child care subsidies. Bowen is focused on storytelling, emphasizing how we encounter these families as they live in the neighborhoods we serve and how we will not practice in the segregation of these children even when it costs us to offer care to them.

In New York, LIIF will be continuing to work to build supply of child care through policy change and advocacy for facilities funding. We recently joined an effort supporting a five-point policy agenda in New York City through a coalition led by DC 37 and the Real Estate Board of NY.  

Interested in learning more about NEPAC? Read our comprehensive report

Questions? Contact our New York ECE team:

Early Care and Education