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UNH Releases "PEG'd Away: The impact of NYC PEG plans on New York City, its people and its communities"
Twice a year, in order to close gaps in the City's budget, City agencies face the task of cutting spending; in City-speak, these budget reductions are known as Programs to Eliminate the Gap (PEGs). Over the last several decades in NYC, Peg'd has become the most unlikely of verbs, as in "this program just got Peg'd," meaning the City budget proposal includes a program that will be restructured or eliminated for cost savings.
PEG'd Away also explores the changing role of the City Council. Once, the Council was able to use its discretionary funding to support innovative initiatives and meet emerging community needs. Now, this one-year discretionary funding is used to keep core human services afloat. Learn more by downloading PEG'd Away or viewing it online.
The city hopes EarlyLearn will make for higher-quality city-funded daycare. Despite funding shortages and doubts about the way contracts were awarded, some agencies and advocates believe the program has promise.
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Without raising the tax bar, education, child care, libraries and other city services will be spared – despite original concerns of heavy cuts – in the 2013 Fiscal Year budget, city officials announced Monday, June 25 attributing the balanced budget to several cost-saving methods.
“When times were better, the city set aside surplus revenue — and when the first storm clouds gathered in 2007, we began cutting budgets,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “These actions — and our work over the past decade to diversify the economy and make it less reliant on Wall Street — have allowed us avoid the severe service cuts that many other cities are facing.”
About $150 million will be added from the mayor’s May Executive Budget, which proposed a large child care cut, to the Administration for Children’s Services Child Care Program and the Department of Youth and Community Development Out-of-School Time program, ensuring child care stays well-funded in the City.
The funding is a major accomplishment for child care, said Gregory Brender, policy advisor for United Neighborhood Houses.
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A total of 151 organizations claiming to represent more than 1 million New Yorkers have joined the Campaign for Children and signed a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposing proposed cuts to child care and after-school programs. The groups say that the Mayor’s Executive Budget proposals for FY2012-13, which begins July 1st, will eliminate funding for 47,000 child care and after-school slots.
“Enacting these cuts will deal a devastating blow to struggling children and families,” the letter states. “As a Mayor seeking to improve the education of our children, ensure college and career readiness for black and Latino youth, and stabilize the City’s economy, we believe you should reassess proposed budget cuts in the realm of child care and after-school.”
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Tens of thousands of the city's youngest and most at-risk children attend Head Start programs every year. The federally-funded prekindergarten is designed to boost learning and development before kids even get to school and provide free, high quality childcare for low-income families.
However, 250 of the city's Head Start programs may now be at risk.
The bulk of the city's Head Start money goes to the Administration for Children's Services, which then distributes it among 250 individual programs. But now ACS has landed on the federal government's first-ever list of substandard Head Start programs. That means ACS will have to re-apply for its $190 million grant.
“They have a whole vision and a model for how to deliver quality early childhood to low income kids. Without Head Start funds, that whole thing falls apart and thousands and thousands of kids would lose an opportunity to have quality care,” said Nancy Wackstein of United Neighborhood Houses.
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"It really is a time of change, and I'm not sure it's positive,” said acting director of early childhood services at Leggett, Ledia Rivera. "It's going to be a taxing time for parents."
The Brooklyn Spectator: How Losing Child Care Will Impact Brooklyn, featuring UNH POlicy Analyst, Gregory Brender
Hayley Feliciano was prepping for another day of learning and play at the Bay Ridge Child Care Center when she got the call: the city’s budget had proposed slashing $91 million from child care services, eliminating 16,462 seats, 119 classrooms and several centers throughout the city.
“I would be losing at least one classroom, 16 kids and three to five staff members,” said Feliciano, who works as the educational director at the center, 314-322 44th Street. “We have the letter saying we will be cut. It’s last minute, to tell a parent they have no child care. They’re already [struggling] to support their families.”
In his latest budget proposal, Mayor Bloomberg agreed to scale back proposed cuts and funding for early childhood care. Still, the remaining deductions will affect the youngest and most vulnerable New Yorkers.