Yesterday evening, Council Members from Upper Manhattan stood in unity with parents, children and day care providers in protesting the proposed cuts to City-funded child care. Footage from the rally and Melissa’s remarks are included in the video above. The communities of Upper Manhattan are disproportionately impacted by the proposed cuts as nearly 80% of the scheduled slot reductions in the borough of Manhattan occur in these council districts.
For additional photos, courtesy of DNA Info, click here.
Though the Mayor recently announced a plan that he said would restore the funding for child care, there is still deep concern that thousands of families will find themselves without access to these vital services. Only $40 million of the $91 million in proposed cuts have been restored, saving 4,400 of the 16,000 slots on the chopping block in the Fiscal Year 2012 Preliminary Budget. The Mayor’s current plan hinges on offering 10,500 school-age children the option of enrolling in DYCD’s Out-of-School Time (OST) afterschool program, which itself has experienced severe cuts in recent years and does not address the needs of those working parents that require child care during traditional working hours.
The communities of Upper Manhattan are disproportionately impacted by the proposed cuts as nearly 80% of the scheduled slot reductions in the borough of Manhattan are set to occur in these council districts. Day care services represent a critical investment in our young people’s future, as it increases access to early childhood education. It also helps boost our local economies, by enabling parents to remain employed. According to the Emergency Coalition to Save Childcare, every dollar cut from child care leads to a $1.86 loss for the community.
Council Members Viverito, Dickens, Jackson and Rodriguez all pledged to make a restoration of child care centers a priority heading into budget negotiations, but called on the community to urge Mayor Bloomberg, who controls the overwhelming majority of the City’s budget, to come up with the funds for a full restoration.