Earlier this year, through an EarlyLearn RFP process, 14 daycare providers across New York City found out they would not receive a financial award for the 2016 fiscal year from the Administration for Children’s Services– money that provides critical academic programs and services to young children– because they did not outperform the providers selected by the Administration.

At least six of those 14 centers are in Brooklyn neighborhoods, including the Emmanual Day Center in Fort Greene, the John F. Kennedy Early Childhood Development Center in East New York, and the Young Minds Day Care Center in Clinton Hill. However, all of the centers serve the children of parents across all of the neighborhoods of Central Brooklyn.

In response, City Councilmembers Laurie A. Cumbo and Robert Cornegy, joined by other elected officials and parents in districts affected by the cuts rallied on the steps of City Hall Thursday afternoon to urge the Administration for Children’s Services to restore funding.

“Stability and a high-quality education are crucial in the intellectual and social development of our children,” said  Cumbo, who is also chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues. “The closure of our daycare centers would be detrimental to our community and places an undue burden on working families. Our youngest scholars deserve a fair opportunity to learn and excel, not a game of musical chairs with the redistribution of slots.”

“For more than 30 years, the Young Minds Day Care Center has proudly served the families of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Bedford-Stuyvesant,” said Claudette Macey, executive director, Fort Greene Council, Inc.Given our successful track record, the closure of this Center would be a devastating loss for more than 100 families who deserve universal Pre-K, childcare services, and after-school programming within their communities.”

In addition to the Young Minds Day Care Center, the Pine Street Day Care Center, the Tremont Crotona Day Care Center, the Mary Walton Children’s Center, the Audrey Johnson Day Care Center, the Williamsbridge Day Care, the Nasry Michelin Day Care Center, the Pamela C. Torres Day Care Center, Children’s Growing Place, Small World Day Care, Afro-American Parents Day Care Center, Colony South Brooklyn Houses, Inc. were among the child care providers whose contracts were not renewed for the upcoming academic year.

“Low-income parents in New York City are worried about making the rent. They’re worried about what the summer months will bring for the safety of their children and communities. They’re juggling all of these worries, and work and child-rearing,” said Cornegy, who is chair of the Committee on Small Business. “It’s stressful and I’m unhappy that the city’s management of its childcare contracts is adding to their stress.”

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  1. These providers should not receive funding as a default because they serve poor communities. The decision to fund them should be based on their ability to articulate a plan to provide safe quality learning and development experience for children. If they were unable to meet this measure, they should not get any taxpayer money. Instead of protesting, our elected officials can spend their time and resources reviewing the applications of those providers that were rejected for funding and provide them with technical assistance to help them improve their plan for providing quality service to our children. Everything is not a nail and we should use more tools than hammers!

  2. Re: Black Bishop’s comment–
    Agreed. However, I would like to propose another perspective. As a teacher for 20+ years and an early childhood educator, I know, for a fact, that a significant number of criteria that need to be met in order to receive such funding, accreditation, etc. can ONLY be met WITH funds and the “exercises” government makes these centers go through don’t often measure competency and safety, but rather fiscal stability. It’s often a Catch 22, where the centers that have the greatest need for funding are the very ones that are being disqualified from funding. Instead, let’s take a closer look at how we can cut back on over-regulating and narrow down to the basics of good and safe childcare for our neighborhoods.

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