Over 150 Organizations Sign on to Campaign for Children
The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg
Mayor of the City of New York
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mayor Bloomberg:
We, the members of the Campaign for Children, urge you to ensure that your Executive Budget includes funding for the 47,000 child care and after-school slots currently slated for elimination.
The Campaign for Children is a partnership between The Emergency Coalition to Save Child Care and the NYC Youth Alliance. Given the bleak outlook for these critical systems that enable low-income parents to work and provide essential educational supports to children, we are partnering to advocate for the resources needed to maintain capacity in Fiscal Year 2013. In addition, we are launching this Campaign to urge your administration to fully fund the vision for high-quality child care and after-school programs laid out in the EarlyLearn and Out-of-School Time (OST) RFPs.
The Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Preliminary Budget, combined with the EarlyLearn NYC (EarlyLearn) and Out-of-School Time (OST) RFPs, will cut child care and after-school programs for 47,000 children. This means that 47,000 fewer children will have the services and resources necessary to ensure their future success, and that their working parents will be forced to make potentially unsafe arrangements for their children in order to keep their jobs and maintain their livelihoods.
We support your efforts to close the achievement gap and prioritize education for our city’s children. However, we are very concerned that this is the fifth straight year that child care and after-school programs have been cut in the budget process. These are programs that have proven essential to closing the achievement gap. Since 2009, 43,000 fewer children have been served in the subsidized child care and after-school systems; if the proposed cuts outlined in the FY13 budget are allowed to stand, an additional 47,000 children will be cut from these systems. This would mean that in five short years, more than 90,000 children will have been left without care.
The Preliminary Budget, combined with the expected cuts to capacity as a result of the EarlyLearn RFP, would lead to the loss of 8,200 child care slots and 7,700 child care vouchers. Cutting child care from low-income working families will not only endanger many of our city’s most vulnerable children, but also negatively impact the economy, in that it will force many hard-working parents, including 311 operators, hospital staff, cashiers, and home health aides, to have to quit their jobs.
Moreover, as you testified at the recent State Assembly and Senate Budget hearing, “what happens after the final school bell of the day rings is as important to students as what goes on in the classrooms.” We are proud that the OST system was created by your administration and held up as a national model of success. Yet since 2009, as a result of successive budget cuts, OST has served 30,000 fewer youth. The FY13 Preliminary Budget, combined with cuts to capacity in the new OST RFP, would reduce the system’s capacity by another 25,000 slots. This would leave a mere 27,000 children served by OST. In addition, 6,800 after-school slots are slated to be lost through proposed cuts to Beacons and Cornerstone Programs. This will leave tens of thousands of 5-13 year old children without safe, high-quality programs between the hours of 3-6pm each and every working day.
We, the Campaign for Children, urge you to fund child care and after-school programs in your Executive Budget, so that these 47,000 children can continue to learn while their parents continue to work. We urge you to fund your vision. We know that the economic recession of the past three years has made budget reductions a reality – tough choices needed to be made. That said, enacting these cuts will deal a devastating blow to struggling children and families. As a Mayor seeking to improve the education of our children, ensure college and career readiness for black and Latino youth, and stabilize the City’s economy, we believe you should reassess proposed budget cuts in the realm of child care and after-school.
It’s time to turn the tide for New York City’s children and youth, to ensure that the children who need these essential early education and after-school services have access to them. The Campaign for Children would like to work with you and your administration to fund high-quality systems that serve greater, rather than fewer, numbers of children. While budget times necessitate tough choices, we simply cannot allow 90,000 children to do without the tools they need for success. We urge you to take the first critical step necessary to stabilize the child care and after-school systems in your Executive Budget by restoring $104 million to the Administration for Children’s Services for child care and $66 million to the Department of Youth and Community Development for after-school programs.