Two beloved Brooklyn day care centers are closing Friday, slated to get replaced by a controversial charter school, the Daily News has learned.
Three other centers - one in Queens and two in Brooklyn - are also shutting down because of city budget cuts, affecting about 250 kids citywide.
Parents at Strong Place Day Care Center and Bethel Day Care Center along Hoyt St. are particularly outraged because they learned only Thursday morning their year-round classes are getting cut off.
"I feel the system is failing our kids," said Christina Nieves, 26, whose son, Sandro, 3, attends Strong Place. "Why are they doing these budget cuts in urban neighborhoods where parents need the most help?"
Day Care administrators say they were blindsided. They knew closure was a possibility, but not on such short notice.
"There was this timeline for closure I had heard a long time ago, but I thought it was shelved. Then yesterday I'm told by ACS to follow this old timeline and hope for the best," said Strong Place's furious director Loraine Pennisi, who is planning a protest for Friday.
A burgeoning charter school has snatched up the space and signed a lease, which means that even if last-minute funding is found to keep the centers open, there is nowhere to operate.
Brooklyn Prospect executive director Daniel Rubenstein declined to comment, but sent a letter to parents June 7 outlining the switch.
"The Brooklyn Prospect Board of Trustees and staff have together made the decision to sign a lease that provides for private interim space at 238-242 Hoyt Street," he wrote.
This news came as a shock to Councilman Stephen Levin, who had been trying to help the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School find a home and save the centers at the same time.
"I'm very hurt," said Levin, who has a soft-spot for the issue because his staffer, Hope Reichbach, dedicated herself to saving the center before she died in April. "This was done without the involvement of the local community...(or)local officials and despite the fact that we were trying to save these day cares."
Brooklyn Prospect Charter School has been jammed into Sunset Park High School since 2009, angering parents and politicians as it searches for temporary space until their new Park Slope building is completed.
Administration for Childrens' Service officials said the agency notified parents about the closures months ago, providing a list of city day cares nearby.
"We will work with any families who are currently in need of help identifying alternative arrangements," ACS spokeswoman Elysia Murphy said.
Now they're closing day care centers and replacing them with charter schools.
How can people question the NAACP's role in a lawsuit against charter school co-locations and expansions when this is how the process is carried out?
Bloomberg uses charter schools like cancer - he sticks them into places where they bore deep down, then expand and expand and expand until they kill off whatever they were "co-located" with.
It used to just be public schools.
Now it's day care centers too.