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Cuts Threaten Pre-K Slots

Monday, April 06, 2009

Daycare centers that run pre-kindergarten programs say the city has implemented an unexpected and complicated budget cut that threatens pre-K slots. WNYC's cindy rodriguez reports.

REPORTER: Hundreds of low income parents send their kids to pre-K at daycare centers funded by the Administration for Children's Services. The centers also receive city education funding, and a new policy requires them to deduct any overlap in government dollars.

The Helen Owen Cary Child Development Center in Brooklyn, says its facing a $110,000 cut. Director Lennie Fennel says that money is used to hire a social worker, administrative help, and to keep aides in the classrooms:

FENNELL: If you're in a classroom that the children are being potty trained and someone needs to be changed, you have to have two people in the room because as one person is changing the child, you have to have someone else to monitor the other children.

REPORTER: ACS says can keep the money if the centers can prove that the funds don't overlap. The agency's childcare system is facing a $62 million budget shortfall. For WNYC, I'm Cindy Rodriguez.

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