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Advocates Call on Mayor to Reverse Budget Cuts to Child Care

About 80% of New York City families cannot afford child care of after school programs.

New York City Councilmember Justin Brannan on Thursday joined advocates, parents and child care providers at the Coney Island YMCA to call on the Adams administration to reverse its proposed budget cuts to the City’s early care and education (ECE) and youth service systems.

The Campaign for Children (C4C), a citywide advocacy coalition, urged the administration to address the barriers families face to accessing child care and make the enrollment process more accessible, according to a news release.

Mayor Adams’ proposed $170 million in cuts to ECE services come during a severe child care affordability crisis in New York City. A recent study showed that 80% of New York City families with children cannot afford child care or after school programs. While the Mayor recently announced that the city will replace $92 million in lost federal stimulus funding for 3-K expansion, the city budget still contains over $170 million in cuts to 3-K, according to the news release. 

“Offering New York City working families free, high-quality early childhood education options isn't just sound social policy, it also makes good economic sense,” said Brannan. “Cuts to these programs that support our youngest New Yorkers compromise their futures and pose critical challenges to the stability of families and New York’s economic strength.”

On the tour, advocates warned that these cuts will further burden working families who are already forced to spend up to 63% of their annual income on child care services. The mayor’s proposed cuts would not only have a devastating impact on the well-being of children, youth and families but also on the city’s economic recovery, the press release said.

"Coney Island, like so many early care and education sites across the city, has a waitlist for families trying to access 3-K," said Alice Bufkin, associate executive director of policy at Citizens' Committee for Children. "It's clear that the demand for affordable child care options in New York is enormous, yet this budget includes devastating cuts to 3-K and Pre-K. The mayor must stand by his promise that every child who needs a 3-K seat will receive one. We urge the Administration to restore the $170 million cut from the Early Care and Education system, and to address operational and contracting barriers that are impeding access to services.”