Child care center may close under budget cuts

With child care programs facing steep cuts under Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget, Bronx families at one child care center are urging Hizzoner to go easy on them.

They met recently with several Bronx pols at the Bronx Family Center in Claremont, in danger of its child care and after-school programs being cut,

They also heard a report by family advocacy group Campaign for Children that argued “Children who attend quality early childhood programs are more likely to graduate from high school.”

The service has helped single mother Carolyn Sanchez, whose son attends the Bronx Family Center child care program.

“Choosing between keeping my job and giving my son the educational opportunities my son needs is a choice no hard-working New Yorker should have to make,” said Sanchez, who like many south Bronx families, can’t afford private child care.

“Working parents who lose access to child care will be forced to make less stable arrangements for their children or leaving the workforce,” according to the report.

Bloomberg preliminary 2013 budget to close a $2 billion dollar budget shortfall spared teacher layoffs but took aim at the Department of Youth & Community Development and its city-run child care programs.

He previously announced the proposed June closure of the Beacon Program at Phipps Community Development at I.S. 192.

This is his fifth straight year of cuts to services aimed at kids, a slight departure from his early years when he called a child’s development outside of school as important as what happens inside.

Councilwoman Annabel Palma, who attended the April 18 meeting, is opposing the cuts.

“In communities like ours, working people depend on these programs to provide safe and affordable child care,” said Palma.

The budget still needs a vote by the City Council by the end of June.

If approved, working parents will have to find new ways in making sure their kids are safe.

Reach reporter David Cruz at (718) 742-3383 or

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