Brooklyn day care centers in danger

Brooklynites plan to protest the proposed closure of 10 day care centers in the borough.

“We’re mobilizing and we’re going to fight this thing because this is simply the wrong cut and in the long-run, it will be counterproductive,” asserted Jerry Chiappetta, executive director of the Court Street Day Care Center, located at 292 Court Street in Carroll Gardens.

The city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) has proposed the closure of the Court Street Day Care Center, as well as the Farragut Day Care Center at 104 Gold Street, Bethel Baptist and Strong Place Day Care Center at 242 Hoyt Street, Salvation Army Fiesta at 80 Lorraine Street, Martha Udell Early Childhood Academy at 505 St. Marks Avenue, Alonzo Daughtry at 1005-07 Bedford Avenue, BBCS Duffield Children’s Center at 101 Fleet Place, Bedford Avenue Day Care Center at 40 Brevoort Place, La Puerta Abierta CCC-PAL at 2864 West 21st Street, and Learner’s Haven DCC at 432 Rutland Road.

The agency says it’s too costly to keep the centers operating, as many are under-enrolled and housed in buildings with annual leases of $150,000 to $450,000.

The kids at these day care centers, which provide free childcare, would be offered seats in nearby centers, said ACS spokesperson Sharman Stein.

If the City Council approves the closures, or cuts, the city would reportedly save $9 million.

The Court Street Day Care Center is in Carroll Gardens, where many affluent parents can choose other childcare options. However, “The parents often are not people who reside within the immediate area of the day care center,” Chiappetta explained. “Parents usually look for a center that is convenient for them in relation to where they work. I have parents that live in Crown Heights, Red Hook or Brownsville but work in Downtown Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan.”

The Court Street center is currently budgeted for 50 children and has 49 enrolled, Chiappetta said. It also maintains an after-school program for 30 children, which has a waiting list.