Parents and Advocates Continue Efforts to Save Programs; Parents Bring to Life Startling Statistics in Campaign’s Report
Days away from learning if the Mayor’s proposed budget in which more than 47,000 children will lose access to child care and after-school programs is adopted, advocates throughout the city are continuing their efforts to send a clear message to Mayor Bloomberg. The scorching heat and blinding sun couldn’t keep dozens of parents, elected officials and child care advocates from gathering at the steps of City Hall yesterday afternoon to release the Campaign for Children’s latest impact brief which highlights how specific communities, with the highest statistics, would particularly be hit the hardest with these cuts.
Along with this report, many parents were on hand to speak on behalf of their child’s program, not one with any possible alternative child care come September. They recounted for the crowd how they themselves benefitted from child care services, allowed them to continue working to provide for their families and now as parents provides a safe haven for their children and prepares them for the future. “Mayor Bloomberg says he loves New Yorkers, but he is treating the smallest constituents like they do not even matter” said one parent, who was referred to other alternative after-school programs for her two children but not one has an available spot. “When you abandon a child, you get ACS, but he is abandoning all the children, what will he get?” said another mother through tears who credits her 15 year old daughter’s high school success to the tutoring she received at her after-school program.
Robin Fleshman, The Children’s Aid Society’s Assistant Community Schools Director in the Bronx, shared some particularly devastating statistics for the Morrisannia section in the Bronx. In a community where only 27.1% of children are performing at or above grade level in reading and over 58% of children are living below the federal poverty level, Morrissania is set to face 91% reductions in its programs.
If these cuts are not restored in the final budget due June 30th, thousands of New York City families will lose access to programs that keep children safe and learning while parents are at work. The City of New York cannot afford to cut child care or after-school programs for even a single child. We urge the Mayor and City Council to stand up for children and working families, and fully fund child care and after-school in the final budget. Find out what you can do to make your voice heard at www.childrensaidsociety.org/take-action and http://www.campaignforchildrennyc.com.