The parents of 10,800 New York City kids are in danger of losing their subsidized child care as early as the end of June due to budget cuts and Mayor Michael Bloomberg restructuring the funding system for day care programs. Day care centers in the city’s Latino, Asian and black communities are the hardest hit.
Ronald Richter, commissioner of the New York City ACS, explained 6,500 spots in city-funded centers would lose their funding unless a $71.5 million shortfall is filled.
In addition, 4,300 vouchers, which allow parents to receive subsidized child care at non-city funded centers, would also lose their funding unless an $11.8 million shortfall was filled.
When asked what parents are supposed to do with their children, who no longer have subsidized child care, when they go to work, Richter replied, “We, for families who are losing ACS, are going to work with them to try to answer person by person that question. We will obviously, based on what you are looking at, not have a satisfactory answer for each individual and that is painful.”
Washington Heights, which is predominantly black and Latino could be one of the areas hardest hit by the budgets cuts and restructuring, according to the Manhattan Times:
“The 10033 zip code is wiped out,” explained Nereida Hill, Executive Director of the Washington Heights Day Care Center, located on 175th Street between Broadway and St. Nicholas Avenue.
Hill was referring what amounts to an eradication of most of the early childhood education programs in the 10033 zip code.
Hill noted that while the discussion in light of Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed cuts on recent budget cuts has focused on after-school programs, three daycare service providers - the Washington Heights Day Care Center, Quo Vadis Daycare, and La Familia Day Care - may be forced to close.