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Lawmakers, Parents, Providers Protest Child Care Cuts
Westchester County Legislators Peter Harckham (D-Katonah), Bill Burton (D-Ossining) and Majority Whip Judy Myers (D-Larchmont) were in Mount Kisco Friday along with parents and day care providers calling on the County Executive not to slash funding for working families. County Executive Rob Astorino has proposed cutting $5.8 million in social services this year, including $1.5 million in day care funding. Among the changes is the elimination of the Westchester County Child Care Scholarship program created by the Board of Legislators and a freeze on new Title XX child care subsidies and by increasing parent contributions from low income families who receive the child care subsidies from 15to 20%. Said Harckham, "The proposed changes are penny wise and dollar foolish. The average scholarship is $321 a month. The cost to shelter a family in Westchester County is over $5500 a month. So, it's a wise investment. We're empowering people to be independent."
Polly Peace Executive Director at County Children's Center of Katonah, Yorktown and Bedford Hills says "Without these subsidies and scholarships these very same parents would not be able to work. They will either not be able to have a job and stay home. Or, the children could possibly be put in a dangerous situation without parental supervision."
Astorino has said the cuts are necessary due to a 60 milllion dollaer deficit in the current fiscal year and a projected 166 million dollar deficit next year.
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