At a press conference yesterday in front of City Hall, members of the Campaign for Children, a coalition of child care and after school program advocates, lobbied City Hall and the City Council to make long-term investments in these programs that are often subject to budget cuts. The press conference coincided with the release of a report by the Campaign for Children that surveyed over 400 after school and child care providers to demonstrate the instability they face and the dramatic affect it has on children, parents and staff.
“There’s a real impact to not knowing from one year to the next whether or not you’ll still be able to provide services for families,” said Stephanie Gendell, the author of the report and associate executive director of public policy and affairs at Citizen’s Committee for Children. “The city shouldn’t put everyone through all of this every year. They need to stabilize the system by, at a minimum, maintaing the current funding we have in the system.”
The advocates were joined at the press conference by City Council members Gale Brewer, Letitia James, Stephen Levin and Ydanis Rodriguez. Rodriguez, a former high school teacher, said that these programs are “imperative” for a child’s future.
“The fight for quality education is the civil rights movement of our time and so many of our city’s children are denied this right, placing their lives in jeopardy,” Rodriguez said. “I hope Mayor Bloomberg takes this report into account in his preliminary budget by investing long term in our kids rather than again leaving it to the Council to restore this funding in what has become an annual occurrence.”
Tags: after school programs, Budget Cuts, Campaign for Children, child care, Citizens Committee for Children, Council Member Gale Brewer, early childhood education, Letitia James, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Stephanie Gendell, steve-levin, Ydanis Rodriguez