Mount Kisco, NY – (October 1, 2012) – A press conference held on Friday, September 28 at Mount Kisco Child Care Center (MKCCC) addressed County Executive Robert P. Astorino’s decision to raise the parent share for child care subsidies and also freeze the number of Title XX day care slots.
Astorino has announced that the parent share for child care will increase from 20% to 35% on November 1, despite the fact that the County’s 2nd Quarter forecast for 2012 showed the Department of Social Services (DSS) projecting a $7.5 million surplus — even with the extra amount day care subsidies are costing — and a $2.8 million return to tax levy.
The press conference with BOL Majority Leader Pete Harckham (D-Katonah) included Dottie Jordan, Executive Director of MKCCC; two members of the MKCCC Board of Directors, Clark Robson and Tom Coleman; Polly Peace, Executive Director of the Country Children Center; and Kathy Halas, Executive Director of the Child Care Council of Westchester.
During the press conference Harckham noted that the 20% family share costs an average of $178 a month, while the 35% share will cost an average of $311 a month.
“The increase in parent share represents a $1,600 annual increase for families making less than $35,000 per year,” said Harckham. “They are telling us they can’t afford it. This increase is unjust, unwise and unwarranted.”
Jordan noted that MKCCC serves 160 children ages 3 months to 11 years of age, and over half of the families need some form of tuition assistance and 25% of those families depend on County child care subsidies.
“MKCCC relies on multiple sources of funding to operate our programs and in the last two years we have seen a drastic cut in government funding,” said Jordan. “Our Scholarship Program increased 30% over the past 2 years. MKCCC cannot sustain these increases without government support.”
In addition to day care staff, two parents were in attendance to speak about the direct impact the increase would have on their families. Wendy Urbina, an employee of MKCCC and single mother with a child enrolled in the program, noted the need for assistance from the County.
“The increase is going to make it hard for me,” said Urbina. “I am barely making ends meet now. I am looking for a hand-up, not a hand-out. So, please help us out.”
MKCCC is located at 95 Radio Circle, Mount Kisco, NY. For additional information, please visit www.mkccc.org or call (914) 241-2135. Follow MKCCC on www.facebook.com/MKCCC and twitter.com/MKCCC10549 for the latest news and updates.
About Mount Kisco Child Care Center:
Mount Kisco Child Care Center is a licensed nonprofit, non-sectarian NAEYC accredited childcare facility that has served the working families of Northern Westchester since 1971. MKCCC provides exceptional and affordable, early-care and education to a diverse group of children three months to five years. The Center’s expanded school-age program serves children up to 12 years of age.