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Cost of Subsidized County Daycare to Increase Feb. 1

Robert Astorino called seven percent increase in the parent share in 2013 a compromise, Democrats say the increase was unnecessary.

The parent contribution to county subsidized day care will increase seven percent for Westchester families above the poverty line on Feb. 1.

Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino hailed the increase, approved as part of the 2013 county budget, as a compromise in a press release Tuesday. The county executive's original budget called to increase the minimum contribution from 20 to 35 percent because the program ran out of money in 2012. A coalition of seven Republicans in two Democrats agreed to split the difference at 27 percent when they approved the budget in December.

“The issue was never the county’s commitment to day care but figuring out a way to keep the program solvent,” said Astorino. “Last year, the Democratic majority did not put enough money in the budget to cover costs and the program had a $3 million deficit by the end of the year."

But other Democratic lawmakers deny the day care program lost money in 2012. In a separate release, Democrats claimed the program ran at a $1.3 million surplus in 2012, and that the increase in family contributions wasn't necessary.

Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) was one of the Democrats who questioned the rate increase during a meeting of the BOL Community Services Committee Tuesday.

“The entire reason for raising the family share for this program, according to the administration, was to keep it solvent, but last year the funding ran a surplus—even at a twenty percent family share,” Williams said, according to a press release. “With this in mind, I can’t be confident about the financial rationale for increasing these costs for working families this year.”

The seven percent increase will only be taken from the percent a family makes over the federal poverty level. Astorino said a family of three making $25,389 per-year will see its contribution increase from $24.33 to $32.71. The rate is paid only once, regardless of how many children are placed in a day care program.

Astorino said that the county will remain below the state maximum of 35 percent, which is the amount charged in 19 New York counties as well as New York City.

But Democrats questioned why the county executive would increase contributions to a program they say has run at a surplus in each of the last two years.

“To trivialize or minimize the impact of these cost increases to poor working parents signals ignorance of the financial stress under which they live,” Williams said. “A few hundred dollars more out of their pockets represents a good percentage of their weekly take home income, and that will cause many parents to search for less safe alternatives.”

Astorino said parents will be notified of the increase this week before the rate increase goes into effect at the end of the month.

Harry One January 18, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Spain or Greece
LD January 18, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Harry one get your facts correct before you call someone a liar..i never disrespected you not one time all i did was voice my opinion... All Special education teachers have a masters Degree and more such as ABA specialist Which is a program for kids with Autism Ot Speech and so on... What you must mean is a Teachers Aid called TA's for short which do not require anything more then a high school Diploma.... It is Ny State and most other states Law that require master Degrees and other Degrees for Special Education..most classes range for 8 students 1 teacher with masters and 2 aids.. or 12 students 4 aids and 1 teacher with a masters degree.... What is it do you have problem with special needs kids to make such a nasty coment like that..regarding speical Ed . maybe one day you will have a child with special needs.. or your grand children so that you can understand what a cruel coment that was..
Len Martello January 18, 2013 at 05:47 PM
ALL teachers in NY MUST obtain a masters degree to maintain their license - not so in Texas, Florida and elsewhere, where you can go a whole career without one extra class or credit after getting a masters. Oh, and unlike in many business settings, teachers pay for their masters, no school pays for you to get it. So, in Nwe York a teacher must get a masters and they pay for the cost - no district reimbursement or anything like that. Some common misconceptions about the profession that need to be brought into the light. And BTW, I taught music, which reaches the soul of the students that come into our schools. I had both gifted, special ed students and everyone in between in my music groups. ALL of them can achieve amazing things when taught with a dose of patience and humanity. Some on here must have missed those qualities in their own schooling.
LD January 18, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Hats of to you Len
Chris Clement January 18, 2013 at 10:07 PM
At an early age my parents taught me if I want something and don't have the $ to pay for it, and I decide to use a charge card, the charge card MUST be paid off in full at the end of the month. Otherwise, don't buy what I want. I wouldn't be considered the "average American". I have no debt. Thanks to what I was taught as a child. A neighbor loves dogs. Has 2 beautiful dogs. She would like more dogs, but can not afford another. Wise woman. She won't adopt a third dog. If someone can not afford a second or third child then DON'T GET PREGNANT. And it's unfair that someone expects someone else to pay your child's way. Why should the woman who wants another dog and can not afford it have to pay for a child that belongs to another person? I feel it's okay for govt to help people when they need 'emergency' help. On a SHORT TERM basis. Not for something long term like raising a child.
Teleman January 18, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Agreed Chris, but there is a whole bunch of people teaching there kids that those "more fortunate" will pay for their healthcare, house, food, childcare and so on. Almost everyone agrees with a safety net to get people back on their feet- but i see it many times a week- welfare, food stamps, free health care, childcare, but they're driving a newer luxury car or suv, sporting a Iphone 5 and dressed better than I am. Scum sucking leeches need salt poured on them.
Wendy Kelly January 18, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Chris Clement I was taught same and practice today. Have worked since after college and haven't stopped. Why should I be paying for others? Mind you my commuting and working day is at least 12 hours. Try it for many years it gets old real quick but no other choice. No hands out here!
Aidan January 19, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Well said. Those children belong to those people ... and they have the birth certificate to prove it. Neighbors and strangers aren't on that document. Those children do not belong to them.
LD January 19, 2013 at 03:02 AM
Oh please thats just like saying.. Why do i have to pay for school taxes i dont have children so why do i have to pay for other kids to go to school....let the parents pay for there child to go to school there name is on the birth certificate.. lol PLEASE
Harry One January 19, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Wendy these fools beleive congress men and women deserve a lifetime pension after 1 term in office an vote them selfs a raise they want ths country to be like Greece and Spain.
Ross Revira January 19, 2013 at 03:03 PM
In a perfect world we would all have jobs provided by the government. Never have to worry about good pay, health care, and pensions. Job security would never come to mind. Days would be filled with the sounds of music. I then woke up from the dream and realized that the real world for most of us is not like that. Maybe if more people woke up and realized their burdens in life are their primary responsability and not society's we would all be better off. Heard any good music lately?
James Adnaraf January 19, 2013 at 04:48 PM
In the end, a person has to take control of his/her destiny. When you are old and unable to do so, your governmental assistance should be based upon your need. But, governmental policies should not diminish your personal initiative to take care of yourself in as independent a fashion as possible. Unfortunately, governmental programs, with good intentions, and wonderful sounding purposes, often lessen the work ethic, creating a mentality that the government owes it to me. Yes, we do pay into many social programs (SS and Medicare) but we tend to get more than we put in, hence the need to rescue these programs on a fairly frequent basis. For those who say social security is fine, remember we have had to raise the SS % and earnings threshold constantly since it was created. Those constant changes indicate the program was, from a financial solvency point of view, poorly designed from the start.
mark January 20, 2013 at 02:59 PM
eh, you need to pay those costs to keep your future volunteer armies stocked. The only reason they are able to have a volunteer army is because there are so many desperate people to begin with. i hate paying a higher tax rate than those "more fortunate" because they have their properties rated as Agricultural status. thats the real rip off
Harry One January 20, 2013 at 05:40 PM
James where do i get some free stuff i worked all my life got no free stuff,I drop my old clothes off people arrive in better cars than i have get clothes and free food. what a country other peoples money.Wares my free stuff
Shar January 21, 2013 at 12:39 AM
That IS a Left winger special...make up lies and LIE LIE LIE
Shar January 21, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Len, you really know how to tell stories...got give you that
jeff meyer January 21, 2013 at 01:12 PM
This program is a clear positive. It enables people to work. Without access to affordable child care people will not work. Plain and simple. Hopefully this increase will not have too much of a negative impact on the lives of parents. Jeff Meyer Tuckahoe, NY
LD January 21, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Jeff This is all put on the state in the long run anyway.. what i mean is the chid care goes up right ok so now they pay more for childcare..They report that to foodstamps, that there childcare goes up and then there foodstamps is increased.. because its all by income same thing if rent where to go up...
James Adnaraf January 21, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Does a government program ever have an undesirable side effect, like increasing the government dependency mentality, and decreasing personal initiative?
jeff meyer January 21, 2013 at 07:04 PM
By assisting with child care the government is encouraging personal initiative. By subsidizing child care people can go to work. Isn't that a positive? Don't we want people to work? JM Tuckahoe, NY
James Adnaraf January 21, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Note that Mr. Meyer did not answer my question about whether government programs ever have an undesirable side effect. He answered relative to a specific program. Sad.
jeff meyer January 22, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Mr. Adnaraf, take a deep breath and relax. I did not realize your question or its importance to you. To answer your question yes. I am sure that some government programs may have a undesirable effect. However, I don't believe that the program discussed in this article is one of them. Why you would state that a difference of opinion is "sad" is rather perplexing. Then again, maybe not. JM Tuckahoe, NY
Wendy Kelly January 22, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Agree once again with ArtDecoPlayland who ever you are.
James Adnaraf January 22, 2013 at 02:36 AM
Mr Meyer, I am breathing fine, but I sure won't hold my breath for a direct answer from you. Your answer to my question on undesirable effects was quite vague. Imagine if I said" I am sure today may be Monday". That is the equivalent of what you said. You are SURE that something MAY be etc... that is a contradiction in terms.
andrea January 22, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Totally, which is why we have to have REAL sex education in schools. Teach these kids how to not become pregnant and it'll limit the daycare needs later. Not all of them will listen but for those that do it'll save tremendous amounts of money in the long run.
Shar January 22, 2013 at 07:33 PM
All people should have a job ...but they should be given a job they are qualified to preform.
Shar January 22, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Perform....I meant to say....
Dan Seidel January 23, 2013 at 01:33 PM
ICYMI: The County sewer and stormwater trunk lines are in bad shape and need upgrades. Just sayin.......
amelia January 30, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Not only young people are having babies and have their child in subsidy daycare older people who are cheap have their child go to daycare while their driving around in their mercedes benz.
Shar January 30, 2013 at 12:40 PM
They are gaming the system and the poor working stiff has to pay for it with ever more higher taxes.

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