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Daycare Closure Threatens Angel’s Care

DSC_0352MJ Gonzalez Magaly Feliciano and her son, Angel, practice the computer skills he learns at the League Treatment Center.

The holidays took on a bittersweet feeling at the Feliciano household this year, when Magali Feliciano, a single mother of two, received a letter stating that her son’s daycare was closing down.

“We had to get prepared again, it was going to be another battle,” said Ms. Feliciano, whose 4-year-old son, Angel, a special-needs child, attends Duffield Children’s Center, one of the fifteen daycare centers in New York set to shut down as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to close the city’s budget gap.

The day care centers, which provide services to low-income families, including many on welfare, are subsidized by the government and housed in leased properties, where rents have significantly risen in recent years. Officials with the Administration for Children’s Services said that the pricey programs can no longer be funded. The shuttering would save the city nearly $9 million.

Duffield, located on 101 Fleet Place in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, was originally scheduled to close last spring, but after protests, marches, rallies, and support from government officials, the day care stayed open. But the reprieve was temporary.

On a recent evening in her Lower East Side apartment Ms. Feliciano had just gotten home, after spending her only day off running around the city, “I was picking the baby up from daycare, and spent the afternoon looking for things for my older son’s birthday.”

Ms. Feliciano is used to long days. She is up at six in the morning, gets Angel ready for school, and takes him outside where a bus picks him up at 6:45. Then, she heads to work in midtown. Read more…