Officials blast city for closing center for kids of coronavirus first responders

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City lawmakers blasted City Hall and the Department of Education on Friday for shuttering a Staten Island child care center for emergency responders with little notice.

The pols blasted the move, which takes effect Monday, in a blistering letter sent to top de Blasio administration officials.


“Parents who dropped off their children this morning at the Regional Enrichment Center at PS/IS 861 in Graniteville learned that the facility would close Monday,” read a letter signed by a bevy of politicians, including City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Borough President Jimmy Oddo and the neighborhood’s local rep, Councilwoman Debby Rose. “They were given no alternative.”

“On top of the stress these men and women face as part of their life-saving work, they are now being asked to search for new child care so they can continue to serve us,” they wrote. “It is cruel, and they deserve better from our city.”

The fuming officials said the City Council was never notified of the change-up.


With schools closed due to coronavirus fears, the city opened more than 90 “enrichment centers” to provide childcare and other services for the kids of essential city and state government employees, including cops and firefighters.

The DOE said that the center was closed due to low attendance and stressed that all those who used the location would be provided with other options.






City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was one of several politicians who signed a letter to top de Blasio administration officials.Taidgh Barron/NY Post

“As a City, we couldn’t be more grateful to the people on the frontlines every day of this crisis, and we’re shifting sites on Staten Island to better meet the need and minimize the number of staff who have to leave their homes each day, which keeps the City safer,” said DOE spokeswoman Miranda Barbot.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that lower than expected usage would allow the city to expand eligibility beyond first responders to other city workers including pharmacists and grocery store workers.

Staffers at the centers — including DOE nurses — told The Post this week that they are largely idle at many of the centers due to low turnout.


https://nypost.com/2020/03/27/officials-blast-city-for-closing-center-for-kids-of-coronavirus-first-responders/