New York, NY – With the City’s colleges facing looming budget cuts and the cost of child care rising, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Ed Towns (D-Brooklyn) announced today $186,552 in new funding for Brooklyn College’s child care program. Without this federal money, which was secured through the Department of Education FY09 Appropriations Bill, some of the essential child care services for student parents at Brooklyn College would have been on the chopping block.
“These funds will ensure that Brooklyn College continues to have an excellent, affordable child care program,” Senator Schumer said. “During these tough economic times, students and families need all the help they can get and with these funds, students will be able to stay on their path for a higher education. I am proud to support this essential funding and will continue to fight to see that child care remains affordable for all.”
Senator Gillibrand said, “During these tough economic times, more and more parents cannot afford the rising cost of child care. As a mother of two young boys, I know how essential it is to have access to quality and affordable child care. This federal investment will allow Brooklyn College to continue providing quality child care to its low income student parents so they can both raise a family and succeed in the classroom.”
Representative Towns said, “I am committed to supporting Brooklyn College’s student parents who are juggling two very difficult and important tasks – raising a family and working toward a college degree. By providing these men and women in our community access to Brooklyn College’s child care program, they are able to pursue a brighter future for themselves and their families without the stress of searching for quality, affordable child care.”
Brooklyn resident Jennifer Hickson, a single parent and part-time student at Brooklyn College, said “I probably would have dropped out of school or cut back classes in order to get a job to pay for both my tuition and my 3 year-old son’s care had it not been for Brooklyn College’s Early Childhood Center. Good, quality care for our children is hard to come by. I thank Senators Schumer, Gillibrand and Representative Towns for their help to fund this program, which relieves a lot of stress for parents like me.”
Dr. Deborah Shanley, Dean of the School of Education at Brooklyn College, said, “We are thrilled with the news that the Brooklyn College Early Childhood Center was awarded this grant. It is a great way to recognize the incredible high quality education programs provided to young children and their families.”
Brooklyn College’s Early Childhood Center supports more than 80 low-income student parents each year through child care services on-campus. A parent can send his/her infant, toddler or young child to an on-site day care or evening program. Children engage in activities including block building, art, dramatic play, science and math and literacy-based projects that develop their skills and expand their interests. With over 30 staff members, the Early Childhood Center programs offer interdisciplinary center-based curriculum designed to meet the needs of each child.
According to a June report released by Senator Gillibrand’s office, the cost of child care in Brooklyn is rising by $1,612 per year. Each year, the average Brooklyn family spends approximately $16,250 per year for an infant, $11,648 for a toddler and $9,620 for a school-age child.