Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed FY 2012 budget paints a grim picture for all of New York City, especially for poor working parents and their children. Among many cuts proposed by the Mayor, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) will eliminate 16,624 subsidized child care slots due to insufficient federal funding. Nearly 4,000 of those slots, or 197 classrooms, will be taken from community Day Care Centers where the Directors who run these programs are certified educators who provide high-quality early childhood education. This is only the latest in the constant assault on city-funded Day Care.
The Mayor has closed 52 Day Care Centers since 2002.This latest proposed cut will effectively reduce the capacity of the entire day care system by almost one third. Though the Mayor has positioned this cut as a fiscally responsible measure, the consequence is that working families will be forced to turn to unlicensed and potentially dangerous child care or to quit their jobs.
Reliable, structured and educationally sound child care, provided by licensed professionals in a safe supervised learning environment, is a fundamental resource for poor families, especially during tough economic times. What the city is proposing will almost completely eradicate quality early education for poor working families.
Thousands of children preparing to enter grade school will be ill prepared for their future, which is tragic enough, but the financial payback is serious too: Studies have repeatedly shown that taxpayers bear the cost in remedial education, higher incarceration rates and increased crime.
Before taking money from our most vulnerable citizens, the children of this city, it is essential that the city reconsider its proposal, and find other areas, especially within the structure of Administration for Children’s Services, to streamline.
President Obama recognizes that early education is a necessary foundation for success and has vowed to make it a priority. Now, is the time for New York City to step-up to the plate and support subsidized child care.
We cannot sit back and watch NYC balance their budget on the backs of children.
By Ernest A. Logan, President, CSA
The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) represents more than 6,100 New York City public school Principals, Assistant Principals, Supervisors and Education Administrators as well as City Funded Day Care Directors and Assistant Directors.