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AFSCME Says No to Big Apple Early Education Proposal

by Patricia Guadalupe  |  December 16, 2011

AFSCME District Council 1707 is suing New York City over an early childhood education plan that would make drastic changes to child care services in the city and throw many providers out in the cold.

If implemented, ‘EarlyLearn’ will eliminate daycare and Head Start slots for more than 10,000 of the city’s neediest children. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal, childcare services under contract with the city would be streamlined or eliminated entirely in certain areas, and many professional childcare providers would lose their jobs.

“We support initiatives to expand and improve early learning, but cutting funding to not-for-profit centers, reducing pensions, and health care will only force centers  to close, and that means dedicated and hardworking professionals will be harmed,” said AFSCME DC 1707 Executive Director Raglan George, Jr.

Earlier this year, DC 1707 led the fight to restore cuts to daycare services for nearly 17,000 children and their families. It’s no coincidence that as soon as those cuts were restored, the Bloomberg administration came up with the ‘EarlyLearn’ proposal.

“Bloomberg’s so-called ‘EarlyLearn’ program will remove critical pre-kindergarten education for thousands of New York’s children, and we have to do whatever we can to stop it,” added George. “Mayor Bloomberg’s drastic plan is forcing us to take this drastic measure. We need Mayor Bloomberg to make choices we can be proud of, not take the path of least resistance.”

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