Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) is calling on Mayor Bloomberg to reconsider his plan to slash approximately 17,000 Priority 5 and 6 childcare vouchers from the City budget, a move which would disproportionately affect the Orthodox Jewish community.
“With the recent adoption of the State budget, Mayor Bloomberg knows how much funding the City will receive from the State,” said Hikind. “He is, therefore, in a better position to ensure that any necessary cuts are distributed fairly among all groups.” Hikind noted that his district is still reeling from the elimination of the Priority 7 vouchers which were terminated last December and served lower-income families with social service needs where one parent was working full-time.
In a letter to Bloomberg, Hikind wrote, “On average, Orthodox Jewish families consist of six or more children. Priority 5 and 6 vouchers have been a lifeline for the two-income families in my community, allowing both parents to work or get training while their children were safely enrolled in after-school programs or some other type of childcare. Without these vouchers, these families find themselves in an impossible situation, forced to choose between earning a livelihood and being home to meet their children when they return from school.”

Hikind also added that if these families are reduced to one-income households, they will have less disposable income and consequently, they will spend less. This, in turn, will diminish additional tax revenues for the City and the State.

According to published reports, those who enrolled in City-funded childcare first will be the first to lose their slot at a day care center or their voucher for childcare. Letters notifying affected parents were sent out in mid-February.

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