As the June 30 deadline for Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget nears, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer held a town hall meeting to give New Yorkers an opportunity to voice their concerns about the administration’s proposed cuts to child care.
In his executive budget, the Mayor restored 16,500 child care slots with $40 million dollars -- less than half of the $91 million the City originally said it would save by cutting them. Of this $40 million, $15 million will be transferred from the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) to the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), to create 10,500 Out-of-School Time (OST) spots for families who until now had been served by ACS. This ultimately translates into lost capacity within the ACS child care system, further dismantling an important safety net for low-income families.
“New York must never balance its budget on the backs of children and family, but that’s exactly what these daycare reductions accomplish,” said Borough President Stringer. “Despite the Mayor’s restorations, the child care system at large is still under siege, with more than 14,000 child care slots lost in the last four years, and 7,000 fewer children from low-income families able to access care next year. New Yorkers deserve more than a half-a-loaf response from City Hall on an issue that impacts our most vulnerable constituents and their children.”
“Troubling questions remain about the nature of these budget restorations,” Stringer continued. “How does the City plan to fully fund a $91 million program using $40 million? As the early childhood safety net for low-income New Yorkers is dismantled by year-to-year cuts, what is the City’s long-term plan to preserve early care and education services for its neediest citizens?”
The Borough President’s Constituent Affairs team has been working with parents across the city who received letters in February informing them that their child care services would be terminated. Constituent Liaisons have been connecting parents with representatives at the New York City Child Care Resource and Referral Consortium.
“Cutting child care and early childhood education funding would be a serious blow to New York’s hard-working families, who rely on these services in order to keep their jobs and provide for their families,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “Especially in a troubled economy, these cuts will punish those who can least afford it. This is precisely why I have fought so hard to protect federal funding for these services and why we must all continue to advocate to keep these services available.”
New York City Council Member Annabel Palma said, “While Mayor Bloomberg has often spoken of making early childhood education the highest priority of his administration, his actions have not kept pace with his rhetoric and New York City’s children are now facing an unprecedented crisis,” said Council Member Annabel Palma, Chair of the Council’s Committee on General Welfare. “The Mayor’s current proposals to reform the subsidized child care system threaten to reduce the capacity of the overall system, as well as the quality of the services provided. These changes, along with proposals to lay off thousands of teachers, signal a full-scale assault on our City’s education system and place the future of our children and City at risk.”
"Our young are our future and they deserve a free, quality public education,” said Council Member Inez Dickens. “Indeed, our children must have the very best care from their earliest, formative years. The Council Member has vowed to fight for full restoration of every dime needed to restore cuts that will devastate day care centers and erase quality educational avenues for children." Council Member Dickens further declared that, "We must never balance the budget on the backs of our neediest and most fragile citizens.
"The Mayor has proposed to cut subsidies for early education programs which provide childcare subsidies for 47,887 children citywide. These outrageous cuts will be piled on top of the 14,000 child care slots already lost since 2006 as a result of City budget cuts," said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. "Under the Mayor’s proposal, an estimated 7,000 families will lose their daycare subsidy in September, and this number could balloon to as many as 17,000 families. Not only will cutting these programs rob children living in low- and middle-income homes of early childhood services in center-based programs, regulated home-based programs and informal settings, but thousands of home care providers will be put out of business. These programs are a lifeline to many low-income, working families. Without these programs many parents would be forced to quit their jobs and go on public assistance. By cutting these childcare services, the City is effectively creating two separate and distinct educational systems, one for the rich who can afford to send their children to private early education programs, and one for the poor, who unfortunately, do not have that luxury. This is an assault on working families who keep New York City functioning. We cannot and must not allow these cuts to go through."
Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer • 212.669.8300
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