By Brian Ghezelaiagh and Eden Goykadosh

Cutbacks in Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget abound, and it’s the city’s youth who will ultimately pay the price. It is projected that the proposed city-wide budget cuts to daycares and afterschool programs will leave an estimated 47,000 children out of the progressively narrowing window of access to intellectually stimulating and socially enriching care while their parents are at work. And with education and “closing the achievement gap” purportedly being one of the central themes of Bloomberg’s administration, one has to wonder why the educational cracks, through which the city’s kids will inevitably fall, are becoming ever larger.

This is certainly not the first round of budget cuts weathered by city-subsidized childcare institutions. Since 2009 there has been a decline of 2000 children from low-income working families who attend afterschool care, from 51,712 to 42,215. Add to that the 40% decline of the Department of Youth and Community Development’s Out-of-School Time Program and we’re left with a problem with immediate and longstanding ramifications.


As the article mentioned, the cutbacks in the mayor’s budget poses a threat to “firehouses being shut down, arts programs slashed and senior centers closed.” The reality is that there is only a limited amount of funding and if it is not sufficient to finance all activities, something is going to have to be crossed off the list. Evidently, certain institutions/programs take precedence over others, like services that provide safety or basic needs to society.  What do you think can be done to protect programs that dominate a lower tier on the list of public services, i.e. daycares and afterschool programs?