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Let's look closer at Murphy pre-school situation

To the Editor,
I am writing this letter in response to last week’s article “BCYF preschools lose city funds.” I think we need to take a closer look at what is happening.

There were some facts provided in the article that should be highlighted:

• The Murphy preschool program has been serving this community for over 30 years.

• This is a preschool program, not a daycare with preschool activities.

• The primary support that this program receives now is the funding for the city of Boston teaching staff. It does not receive additional funds for supplies. The parent fees cover these expenses.

• It serves a community where there is a strong need for such programs.

Why is there a need? Because many children from this neighborhood are not “randomly” picked in the Boston Public School lottery for preschool slots and private pre-school programs are often too expensive for the working families of this neighborhood (and most of us do not qualify for vouchers and other subsidies).

Boston Centers for Youth & Families claims to be working with the Community Center Council, but the council received the same notice that parents did, at the same time. This was mentioned when a local parent gave an interview on the BNN Cable News Network last week.

The article also quotes BCYF claims that there are 117 “tots” affected by this change in funding, but 72 are from the Murphy preschool program alone!

No advance notice was given to families about the potential “changes” of this program. Our community has had no advance notice that one of our programs was in jeopardy until after it was publicly announced that staff would be cut.

The article mentions other community centers, and other preschool programs, but the main issue is that early childhood education programs are being targeted by a city of Boston department that is supposed to be working for this community’s youth and families.

—Stacie McCarthy, MCC preschool parent

Comments

There is a state grant that funds 80% of the BCYF programs, but Menino hasn't put in for it, and the deadline is April 24th.

Parents, we MUST contact our city councilors, call Menino, call our state reps to get the word out.

Check out Menino Watch for a lot more information on this topic.