Press Releases

REPORT: Cuts to Child Care & After-School Programs Would Force Parents Out of the Workforce

Released June 12, 2013

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 12

Contact: Emma Woods, emma@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5303

Of Nearly 6,000 Working Parents Surveyed, 95% Rely on Access to These Programs to Stay Employed

Parents Would Have to Leave Jobs Crucial to NYC’s Economy: Healthcare, Emergency Services, Education, Law Enforcement, and More

Kids Deliver 20,000 Letters and Petitions to Mayor Bloomberg in Little Red Wagon: Don’t Cut Programs for 47,000 Children!

New York, NY – A new report from Campaign for Children based on nearly 6,000 surveys of working parents finds that the City’s proposed cuts of more than $130 million to child care and after-school programs would force parents out of the workforce. 95% percent of surveyed parents said that they rely on access to these programs to keep their jobs.

Many of these parents work at large corporations (such as Chase, Target, and Con Edison) and NYC institutions (such as Madison Square Garden, the Bronx Zoo, and the Guggenheim) and are everything from doctors to janitors, police officers to receptionists, EMTs to teachers. Many of them even work at City agencies like DOE, NYCHA, NYPD, and the Administration of Children’s Services (ACS). All these employers could lose employees if the proposed cuts to more than 47,000 children are not restored.

The report, which can be read in its entirety HERE, contains several major findings:

  • The working parents whose children are enrolled in NYC’s child care and after-school programs are employed in every major job sector and perform a wide range of job functions.

For example, within the New York City Police Department, surveyed parents were not only police officers, but also school safety agents, crossing guards, secretaries, janitors and an attorney. Similarly, in hospitals, the parents were doctors, nurses, janitors, surgical schedulers, dieticians, x-ray technicians, social workers, and more.

  • The working parents whose children are enrolled in NYC’s child care and after-school programs have jobs that are critical to the City’s economy, and imperative for all New Yorkers to sustain their quality of life.

The survey findings document that these parents have jobs that are essential to NYC.  They help keep New Yorkers safe, they help keep New Yorkers moving, they help keep New Yorkers healthy, and they help make New York City a better place to live.

  • Nearly all of the working parents whose children are enrolled in City child care and after-school programs rely on these programs to be able to keep their jobs.

The survey results show that the City’s child care and after-school programs are a lifeline to working parents – without which they would be unable to maintain employment. In fact, 95% of the working parents who responded to the survey said that they rely on child care and after-school to be able to keep their job.

A survey conducted in May of last year by the Campaign for Children found that half of parents who rely on child care and one-third of parents who rely on after-school would need to quit their jobs if they lost access to these programs. Together with the results of this most recent survey, the responses of parents clearly show that cuts to child care and after-school would mean thousands of parents leaving the workforce.

“I need it to keep my job. There is no one to watch my children while I am at work,” said a New York City teacher, living in the Bronx, when asked in the survey why child care and after-school programs are important to her family.

“Without child care, I have no job,” responded a Program Specialist for the Department of State, living in the Bronx.

“I need after-school care since I’m a single parent and I work full time,” responded a secretary at the NYC Law Department, living in Manhattan.

“As long as I have child care, I won’t have to worry about losing my job. My child’s safety is my main priority,” responded a barista at Starbuck’s, living in Queens.

At the press conference and report release, children at risk of losing child care and after-school programs delivered more than 20,000 petitions and letters to Mayor Bloomberg, calling on him not to cut programs for 47,000 children. The children were joined by elected officials, including City Council members, who also spoke out against the cuts and vowed to work with the Mayor and their colleagues in City Council to restore the cuts.

“These cuts can only do one of two things. We will either create a new wave of unemployment or we will create a new generation of latch key kids. The first could send our economy plummeting. The latter would prove that we have learned nothing from history and we will re-prove it by watching educational outcomes plummet while drug use and criminal activity skyrocket,” said Council Member and Chairperson of the Youth Services Committee Lew Fidler. “Either way, it would be just plain dumb.”

“These cuts will have a devastating impact on the social and economic potential of 47,000 children and their families,” said Council Member Annabel Palma.  “Last year, I fought tooth and nail to stop the Administration’s cuts to working families and this year will be no different. I will work with my Council colleagues to restore funding to these vital services because our City cannot afford to leave tens of thousands of children behind.”

It’s clear that after-school and childcare services are essential not only for the healthy growth of children, but also the stability of families and the overall strength of our community,” said Melissa Aase, Executive Director of University Settlement. “In order for us to continue providing quality programs that keep our kids safe, engaged, and competitive, we need more than a Band-Aid fix for what’s become an annual crisis.”

If more than $130 million in cuts is not restored in the final city budget, due June 30, more than 47,000 children will lose access to programs that are proven to provide critical educational opportunities and pave the way for future success.

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.

But because the programs were restored largely with one-year funding, the victory was a short-term one, and the child care and after-school systems in New York City remain fundamentally under-funded and unstable. This year, the same number of children are at risk of losing child care and after-school. With the belief that every child in NYC deserves access to a safe, high-quality, affordable, and educational child care and after-school program, the Campaign for Children calls for current elected officials, as well as candidates for Citywide office and City Council, to have a plan to make long-term investments in stable, reliable, and sustainable child care and after-school systems for New York’s children and families.

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