By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Parents, caregivers, children, union representatives and supporters rallied in Downtown Brooklyn and then marched over the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday, to protest the city’s decision to close 16 day care centers serving more than 1,000 children in New York.
Of the 16, 11 are Brooklyn-based and serve more than 750 children.
The closing are to go in effect on June 30. The City is maintaining that the closings are related to budget challenges, and the centers targeted are located in neighborhoods which no longer need day care services.
“These working people are the life blood of the city,” said District Councilman Mathieu Eugene before the march.
“They work and pay taxes, and are a part of the economy. We elected officals have to do everything possible to save our day care centers.”
According to the Administration for Chidlren’s Servcies, the centers slated to close include: the Court Street Day Care Center of Amico in Cobble Hill; the BBCS Duffield, Martha Udell, Alonzo Daughtry No. 3, Bedford Avenue and the Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center.
In a press release, District Council 1707 Executive Director Raglan George Jr., said “Since 2003, over 3,000 slots from day care centers were eliminated. The day care school age after -school program, a model for the rest of the country, was eliminated by this adminsitration.”
Parents stated that they need day care centers near their jobs. Sharman Stein, director of Communications for the NYC Administration for Children’s Services noted in February that ACS is looking into how services can be “consolidated.” The closings, reportedly, are based on how expensive the lease is, the condition of the building and whether or not the center is used to capacity. DC 7 has said that no decison about closing any center should be made without the completion of a Community Environmental Quality Review on each program.”