Mayor’s Preliminary Budget Leaves City Children and Working Parents Stranded
February 29, 2012
Around Town – By Neal Tepel
Mayor Bloomberg’s preliminary budget for the Administration for Children’s Services and the Department of Youth and Community Development fails to include funding for child care and after-school programs for more than 40,000 children currently enrolled. The Mayor’s proposed budget, coupled with other recent changes, would eliminate child care for 15,900 children, and would cut Out-of-school Time (OST) after-school programs for 25,000 children – leaving 40,900 of New York’s children and their families stranded without care.
These sweeping cuts would strike a devastating blow to New York City’s working parents – who depend on these critical services to keep their jobs – and their children – who need these early education and after-school programs for future success. The cuts represent a dramatic departure from the Mayor’s stated desire to make education reforms and economic development his top priorities and the foundation of his legacy as mayor.
“For a Mayor who has staked his legacy on creating economic opportunities for low-income New Yorkers, it’s bewildering that his budget slashes the programs that set children up for success and allow working parents to keep their jobs,” said Nancy Kolben, Executive Director of Center for Children’s Initiatives. “Our children and families deserve better than this kind of double-talk. The Mayor must restore these devastating cuts to child care and after-school programs, and prioritize our city’s working families.”
As Mayor Bloomberg himself has stated, “what happens after the final school bell of the day rings is as important to students as what goes on in the classrooms.” Both child care and after-school programs provide children with critical educational opportunities that pave the way for future success, and allow parents to maintain jobs and support their families while their children receive safe, affordable care. The Mayor’s preliminary budget, coupled with these program changes, would slash Out-of-school Time after-school programs by 50% – so that 25,000 fewer children will be served come September – and eliminate child care slots for 15,900 children. All told, 40,900 children and their families will lose access to these essential programs.