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N.Y.C. Spares After-School Programs

Around 47,000 spots in New York City after-school and child-care programs that were at risk of being cut next year will be saved, according to an article in The New York Times.

New York City Council and Mayor Bloomberg agreed to a budget for next year on Monday, which surprisingly, according to The Times, saved services and avoided tax increases and substantial layoffs. And not only have the seats in local programs been saved, but $75 million more in total has been budgeted for the city agencies that support after-school and child-care programs, the Department of Youth & Community Development and the Administration for Children's Services Child Care, respectively. The approved budget is around $500 million more than the current year's budget.

Some of the cuts were curbed due to $150 million extra that came to the city as part of a settlement agreement with ING Bank, according to The Times.

After proposing the cuts to out-of-school-time services, parents and community members actively protested, led by Campaign for Children, an advocacy group. Had the proposed decreases been accepted, that would have marked the fifth year in a row that cuts had been made to the city's after-school and child-care programs and would have meant 90,000 fewer children had access to these programs since 2009.

According to Campaign for Children in a statement, "We applaud the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg for coming to an agreement to save vital child-care and after-school services for New York's working families. ... The investment in child-care and after-school programs is an investment in our city's future. We're grateful that New York City's leaders put children first in a difficult budget year, and look forward to working with them to create stable, sustainable systems moving forward."

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