New York Council Budget Hearings Heat Up With Issues Of Childcare Cuts

Source: Aydnan via Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts to city childcare programs caused a stir during budget negotiation hearings held on Tuesday.

“Child care is the underpinning for any kind of economic stability, along with housing,” said Lisa Caswell of the Day Care Council of New York as reported by NY1. “If you take away the child care, you not only deprive the child, you put the child at risk, but you primarily destabilize the whole family. It’s obvious.”

About 36,000 positions for young kids in need of child care programs  are set to be cut from this year’s city budget.

City Council members also brought up another issue, the Early Learn program. The Early Learn program is the city’s effort to provide early education initiatives. However, in many communities, the administration forced centers currently under contracts to reapply. Further, many local child care providers did not even receive governmental contracts in favor of centers that have no ties to the local communities.

“Why did you do this?” said local Councilman Domenic Recchia. “That is the question.”

Council Member Margaret Chin of Manhattan made her point loud and clear, “In one of the richest cities in the world, we can’t take care of our children,” she said. “That is a shame for all of us. And the mayor has the money. And he’s telling us he is balancing this budget and he’s not raising taxes? Well he is raising taxes on the poor and working families.”

While debates may continue for a few weeks longer, a final budget deal must be brokered by the end of June.