Press Releases

Campaign for Children Press Release: Groundhog’s Day Came Early this Year: Mayor’s Preliminary Budget Would Cut Child Care and After-school Programs for 47,000 Children- AGAIN

Released January 29, 2013

Contact: Emma Woods, emma@berlinrosen.com. 646-200-5303/203-568-4780

The City Council Saved Programs Last Year – But This Year, that Money Runs Out for Tens of Thousands of Low-Income Children

Mayor’s Budget Cuts More Than $135 Million Needed to Keep Programs Open

New York, NY – The Mayor’s Preliminary Budget for 2014, announced today, includes more than $135 million in budget cuts to the City’s after-school and early education systems that would eliminate programs for more than 47,000 children from low-income families – the same number of children who were set to lose programs last year.

Last January, the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget for 2013 proposed unprecedented and devastating budget cuts to child care and after-school programs. Following an outcry from parents and advocates – including over 30 rallies, 60,000 letters and 4,500 phone calls to city leaders – the City Council and Administration restored $150 million to prevent the elimination of programs for more than 47,000 children. Now, this historic victory for children and families is set to be rolled back, according to the Preliminary Budget for 2014.

The Mayor’s Preliminary Budget cuts more than $135  million needed to keep after-school and early education programs open. The budget includes:

  • NONE of City Council’s one-year funds: $120 million of last year’s restoration is one-year, discretionary money that will run out in June. The Preliminary Budget includes none of this funding, which will cause hundreds of programs – programs that just fought for funding in last year’s budget cycle – to have to shut their doors to the children they serve.
  • An ADDITIONAL $10 million cut to after-school programs: This new cut to Out-of-School Time (OST) after-school programs, an after-school initiative created by Mayor Bloomberg himself in 2005, will eliminate slots for more than 3,600 children.
  • An ADDITIONAL $5.3 million cut to child care:  This new $5.3 million cut to child care will result in 250-300 children losing child care vouchers each month as their parents transition off of public assistance.

“Groundhog’s Day came early this year for New York City’s children and working families,” said Michelle Yanche, Assistant Executive Director for Government and External Relations at Good Shepherd Services, on behalf of the Campaign for Children. “Just like last year, 47,000 children are set to lose access to after-school and early education programs – programs proven to help children succeed while parents work to support their families. The same parents and providers will be forced to fight for the same funding that they were just given a few months ago. How can this be happening, after all we’ve heard from our City leaders about making children a priority?”

“The City simply can’t go back on its promise to children and families – not when we’ve been told time and again that after-school and early education programs are a priority for this administration,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, on behalf of the Campaign for Children. “We need our City’s leaders to make long-term investments in these essential programs that help our children succeed in school and in life. The Mayor must include the needed funds in his Executive Budget.”

According to a new report released by the Campaign this month, child care and after-school programs that rely on City funding face constant uncertainty and instability, which negatively impacts programs that are meant to be a lifeline to New York City’s most vulnerable children and families. The report is based on first hand accounts of child care and after-school providers representing nearly 400 programs citywide. According to their testimony, underfunded contracts and the constant need for the City Council to save programs with one-year funding gives providers no way to plan for the future, and causes children and families to suffer.  [Read the full report HERE].

The Campaign for Children kicked off their new phase of 2013 organizing with a series of town hall meetings in each borough during the month of January. The meetings attracted hundreds of parents, providers, and community members who are concerned about the City’s lack of investment in child care and after-school programs, and who together will call on City leaders and candidates for office to have a long-term plan to stabilize the systems.

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN

The Campaign for Children is a coalition of over 150 child care and after-school advocacy and provider organizations, who united in 2012 to fight the proposed budget cuts. Following over 30 rallies and press events, 60,000 letters and 4,500 phone calls to city leaders, the Campaign’s efforts resulted in an unprecedented victory – the City Council and Administration restored $150 million to prevent the elimination of programs for more than 47,000 children.

 

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