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New County Budget Deals Blow To Parents

A total of $1.3 million has been slashed in daycare subsidies for low-income families.
A total of $1.3 million has been slashed in daycare subsidies for low-income families. 

Local families who need help paying for child care will have to make do with $1 million less. 

"We always worry about education cuts because we want the best care for our children," Natalie Mihalyi said.

Mihalyi's daughter will start attending school next year, which is good news because child care is expensive. 

"High quality early childhood care and education for children ranks higher than tuition at SUNY Geneseo, for instance," The Children's Agenda Executive Director Larry Marx said.

Child care subsidies can cut that cost in half. The loss in funding means parents have few options. 

"They will make due with the arrangements that they can afford which may involve a neighbor or a relative or it may mean leaving a child home alone before they're old enough to do that safely," Brigit Hurley said.

County Republicans say the need for the subsidy is down. 

"Less families are going to be needing daycare subsidies according to what we heard last night and that is probably the reason for the state changing our minimums so obviously the dollars will change," County Legislative Majority Leader Steven Tucciarello said.

Child care advocates disagree. They estimate nearly 500 families will not have access to care because of the cut. Democrats say it will cost everyone down the road. 

"The first thing you pay for is mothers who have to quit their job to take care of the kids and go on welfare the next thing you pay for is when children have to have out of home placements and ultimately down the line unfortunately you'll end up paying for in some cases incarceration," Legislator Paul Haney said.

Advocates say they will keep working with the county and state to restore funding. 

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