City Hall Has No Childcare Plan If Schools Partially Reopen: Council Member

Steve Burns
July 11, 2020 - 6:53 pm
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Parents across the city were sent scrambling to figure out childcare options after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that schools would be partially reopening in the fall—and a City Council member said he's working up a plan to help them.

As it stands now, de Blasio’s plan is impossible for working families, said City Council Member Brad Lander.

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“There was no imagination, no coordination, no planning for what seems like the most basic question, ‘What am I going to do with my kid?’” Lander said.

Lander is out with his own blueprint that calls for the city to use community centers, houses of worship, empty offices, even parks and gardens, to house daycare operations.

“We estimate that there is at least 100,000 kids a day, and maybe more, who will need some kind of childcare,” he said.

Lander also wants to recruit nonprofits and summer camp operators to help run them.

“That’s going to take a lot of money, and that money has to come from somewhere, and the city doesn’t have it,” Lander said.

He wants the money to come from Washington or Albany. He also said the city should require employers to accommodate schedules for working parents.

“They have to give you a schedule that lines up with the schedule the city is giving you for your kids,” he said.

De Blasio said Wednesday that there will be “blended learning” for the city’s 1.1 million students when schools return in September.

“Blended learning simply means at some points in the week you’re learning in person, in the classroom, at other points in the week you’re learning remotely,” de Blasio said.

The mayor said students would be learning five days a week but that it would be a mix of in-person and remote learning, with most students in school only two or three days each week.

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