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Tish James to Join Planned Lawsuit Over Childcare, Afterschool Cuts

Over 47,000 seats are on the chopping block as a result of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed budget.

Everyone knows times are tough.

But for many working city parents, things might get even tougher—that is, if cuts to subsidized early childcare and afterschool programs proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg move forward.

Citing the potential loss of thousands of program slots across the five boroughs, Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Fort Greene, said this week that she planned to file suit against Bloomberg in an effort to restore $170 million in proposed cuts.

"If there's money for Barclays Center, there's enough for our kids," James said at .

The proposed cuts come as a result of the Bloomberg Administration's decision not to renew a one-year funding request by the City Council, as well as new reductions in expenditures as part of the Mayor's executive budget.

"We can’t afford to cut child care or after-school programs for even a single child," said a spokeswoman for Campaign For Children. "We urge the Mayor and City Council to stand up for children and working families and fully fund child care and afterschool in the final budget."

According to CFC, 15,368 early childhood and 32,333 afterschool slots are at risk of being eliminated.

A group of children are expected to deliver 40,000 signatures gathered by opponents of the planned cuts to Bloomberg at City Hall on Wednesday.

Update, 12:53 p.m.: The following is James' official statement in regards to Bloomberg's plan to scale down city afterschool and early childcare programs:

As the result of the Early Learn RFP, several day care centers are at risk at being closed or downsized. Many slots will be diverted to lesser known centers in and around the community. Citywide this will have a devastating effect on working families. Mayor Bloomberg's proposed city budget slashes more than 47,000 low-income and working-class children from subsidized daycare, Head Start, and afterschool programs. About 6,500 children will be left without a slot come this November as a result of Early Learn. I believe this must stop; we need to stand up AND SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

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