Office of New York City Council Member
Laurie A. Cumbo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2015
NEW YORK, NY –New York City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, joined by elected officials, parents, and members of eight daycare providers slated for closure rallied on the steps of City Hall today to urge the Administration for Children’s Services to keep their doors open.
Earlier this year, the Administration put forth its EarlyLearn NYC: New York City’s Early Care and Education Services Request for Proposals. Fourteen EarlyLearn providers did not receive an award from the Administration to provide critical academic programs and services to our youth, displacing thousands of working families from diverse communities, because their daycare providers did not outperform the providers selected by the Administration for fiscal year 2016.
“Stability and a high-quality education are crucial in the intellectual and social development of our children,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, 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. Our continuity and reliability for childcare services to parents over the past three decades has meant returning generations of family members who have entrusted us with their children. 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,” said Claudette Macey, executive director, Fort Greene Council, Inc.
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.
“Early childhood education gives our kids a head start and the centers that provide it are valued community assets. It is critical that communities trust that ACS’ award process for EarlyLearn is open and transparent,” said Council Member Stephen Levin, chair of the Committee on General Welfare.
“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. It’s stressful and I’m unhappy that the city’s management of its childcare contracts is adding to their stress,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., chair of the Committee on Small Business. “Families need and deserve stability in this area of their lives. We need to support them by ensuring that the excellent providers to which they entrust their children continue to serve the communities they know and love. Let’s save these slots and save these providers!”
“Closing these centers will put many families is dangerous situations, such as paying for unlicensed care or leaving children home alone. In some cases, a parent or guardian will be forced to quit their job to stay home with the kids.There’s no better place for our kids during the day than a learning environment. I urge the Mayor and the ACS to reconsider and find funding to keep these day care centers open. In these economic times, the city needs to do all it can to support and encourage families,” said Council Member Andy King, co-chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.
“Since 2012, EarlyLearn NYC’s opaque RFP process has laid waste to several child care centers in my district, including two operated by Afro-American Parents Educational Center, Inc. The Council has used discretionary funding in the past to preserve some of these centers, but it cannot buoy them indefinitely, and many continue to slip into the abyss. My fellow members and I are demanding ACS stop this slow bleed of our community’s early childhood education providers, and keep them open,” said Council Member Ruben Wills.
“Day care centers help to make Brooklyn a safe place to raise healthy children and families. Closing sites across our borough puts the education and welfare of hundreds of our youngest New Yorkers in the balance, while creating what may be heavy burdens for parents and guardians in need of child care solutions. I ask the Administration for Children’s Services to work with local elected officials on doing all we can to save these centers,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
New York City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo represents the 35th District, which covers Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Prospect Heights. She serves as Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and a member of several committees: Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations; Finance; Higher Education; Public Housing; and Youth Services. Council Member Cumbo is also a member of the Women’s Caucus; the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus; and the Jewish Caucus.