Growing Up NYC (nyc.gov/growingupnyc) is a first of its kind mobile-first resource that connects families to City and community benefits and resources. Launched in 2016, the site is part of a three-component initiative from the NYC Children's Cabinet and also includes a policy framework and printed resource guide. Through Growing Up NYC, we partner with numerous government agencies and community organizations to get their resources, which are not easily accessible and might have gone unused, into the hands of City residents.
With an inviting interface and content written in plain language, Growing Up NYC allows families to:
• Engage with age guides to learn how their children should be developing at each stage,
recognize and act on warning signs, and get tips to make parenting easier;
• Learn about 70 plus City, State, and Federally-funded programs and services that are
available to help them care of their family;
• Discover free events and activities they can take their families to in their neighborhoods
• Receive updates and announcements via an e-newsletter, personalized based on zip
code and child’s age.
Parents and caregivers now have a one-stop, comprehensive resource to help them get the most from their City government.
Growing Up NYC was built entirely in collaboration with residents. It is a leading example of government employing user-centered, iterative design to create a digital product. The product stems from conversations with families around the city, in shelters, during story times at libraries, and elsewhere. Hundreds of parents spoke about what’s important for them, what resources are most helpful, and how they want to receive them. We also worked with benefits administrators and service providers to learn how Growing Up NYC could help connect communities to their resources.
Following the success of Growing Up NYC, we built a companion website for teens and young adults, who as they became more independent would themselves benefit from more accessible information. More than 100 young people representing a cross-section of New Yorkers, including LGBTQI youth, co-designed Generation NYC (www.nyc.gov/generationnyc).
We worked with our City and community partners to see what resources are available to address the needs identified through our research, and we developed and designed prototypes to test with youth. The new content includes topics (health, college access, budgeting, etc), inspiring youth profiles, and information about free trips in NYC. Generation NYC has its own look and feel that resonates more with teens and young adults.
The Mayor’s Office worked with Bandujo Advertising + Design to create the branding for the Growing Up NYC and Generation NYC campaigns, design of the policy framework, and printed resource guide using Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.
The NYC Opportunity team continues use the brand guidelines to create e-newsletters, print materials, swag (such as t-shirts and totes), social media digital assets, icons, and new website features. Some of these new features include the Growing Up NYC Summer Guide (on.nyc.gov/summer ), a resource for low-income parents to find free and low-cost summer programs, events, and camps across New York City.
The Mayor’s Office uses a suite of digital marketing tools including paid and organic social media and emails to reach new and returning audiences. We are currently partnering with City agencies to help identify and promote the websites to the New Yorkers most in need of these services.
The Mayor’s Office hosted parents and caregivers at City Hall to launch Growing Up NYC in the fall of 2016. Teens and young adults joined in at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for the launch of Generation NYC in the winter of 2018. The NYC Opportunity team attends resource fairs and conducts demos of the websites across City agencies and nonprofits.
Both Growing Up NYC and Generation NYC are being quickly adopted by non-profits, schools, local libraries, and City agencies as a resource to spread to their constituency.