City Hall Press Conference Thursday March 5, 2009 at 12 Noon
City Council Oversight Hearing at 1PM
New York City is planning to eliminate over 3,300 child care slots
At a time when vulnerable New Yorkers are struggling to remain gainfully
employed, or secure employment to support their families, New York City is
reducing the capacity of the subsidized child care system - a system that
provides critical child care services for tens of thousands working
families in New York City.
The New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS) provides
center based child care to 22,000 children ages 2 through 5, in 300 child
care centers that are fully funded by ACS. These operations providing a
comprehensive educational program with certified teachers are the only
center-based child care programs available to families in low-income
communities. This system is now being downsized by over 3,300 fewer
children and these slots are being removed resulting in many centers
The City is eliminating about 3,300 slots in day care centers that
currently provide educational services to 5-year olds. Parents will longer
have the option to place their 5 year old children in day care centers for
a full day of kindergarten services. This displacement of young children
from day care centers will result in thousands of additional 5 year olds
forced to attend the overcrowded public schools and many being bussed to
programs out of their neighborhood.
These 3,300 slots are being eliminated from the system and cannot be used
for the thousands of children, ages 2 through 5, on day care centers wait
lists. With the reduction of slots through consolidation as well as the
3,300 seats eliminated from the kindergarten program, many thousands of
children ages 2 through 5 will no longer have an opportunity for an
excellent community based pre-school education.
During a time of economic crisis, we should be doing all that we can to
keep people working, especially lower-wage workers who are usually more
affected by downturns in the economy. Instead, New York City is
eliminating educational services for thousands of young children placing
additional stress on parents in neighborhoods of need. These cuts will
not only force many centers to close but will also destabilize
neighborhoods. Since workers at centers live near these programs, job loss
will have a devastating effect on the local economy in these communities.
Tell Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to preserve the city's child
care subsidies and prevent any reduction in child care capacity.
Neal Tepel: 646-591-6484
Sandy Socolar: 212-666-5925