Updated 04/26/2011 01:28 PM
Advocates Continue Fight Against Day Care Cuts
Parents and child care workers delivered nearly 10,000 post cards to City Council members in all five boroughs Tuesday as they continue to ask for support for public day care. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
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Working mom Jeyliz Gonzalez says she received a letter two months ago saying that on September, her 3-year-old son Jeremy would no longer be able to attend the city funded Shirley Chisholm Day Care Center.
"I was like there's got to be a mistake, I've never heard of that, how am I not eligible," Gonzalez said.
Jeremy's is one of 16,500 child care slots slated to be cut as the city looks to save more than $90 million. The Shirley Chisholm network of four child care centers would lose funding for five classrooms, affecting 100 children.
"It is very difficult because as a matter of fact, we were quite not expecting this," said Shirley Chisholm Center Director Philip David.
"It is devastating to see that these working parents who really need the services are going to lose them because of the budget cuts," said Shirley Chisholm Center Administrative Director Anna Adames.
Advocates for children are not giving up hope and have created a coalition to call on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to restore the funding.
"This cut affects low income working parents. These are just the families who need to be working and I don't know how they will be able to do that if they lose their child care," said Stephanie Gendell of the Citizens Committee for Children.
"So many council members have said this is our number one issue, we are going to fight on this, and before we pass a budget in June we really need to see significant restorations. We can't let all of these child care cuts happen," said City Councilman Brad Lander.
"You hate to see people suffer in moments like this, and I think that this school would definitely suffer with all the cuts going on now," said Parent Erik Casanova.
"What do we do, where are we going to put them, should I not work, should I go on public assistance, should I not be a productive citizen. What are we doing to the children? It's unfair," said Parent Anneris Nieves.
The city's Administration for Children's Services says it realizes the service cuts will present challenges to those affected families and is working with parents to find alternative child care.