Painful Cuts Loom For Children Under Sequestration

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The North Country Children's Clinic community health center and it's Women, Infants, Children nutrition program could take big hits if Congress fails to come up with a plan to avoid automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, by the end of next week.

"If this sequestration goes through, there are potentially major cuts that are going to affect those programs," said Janice Charles, interim executive director of the North Country Children's Clinic.

That could mean layoffs and fewer services offered.

It's a similar story at the Community Action Planning Council's Head Start Program. 

A few classrooms could remain empty if Head Start loses federal funding. 

Depending on how the cuts are done, 5 or 6 people could lose their jobs and up to 50 children could lose their place in the classroom.

"They have nowhere else to go in the community.  The pre-k's are full. They have waiting lists and so these children won't have any education before they reach school age," said CAPC's Head Start & Pre-K Director Marie Ambrose.

"I really don't think they're thinking about the consequences of what those cuts mean to people like us in the communities," said Charles.

Congress has one more week to come up with a deal to avoid sequestration, but by most accounts, that's unlikely to happen. 

Most of the cuts are expected to be phased in over several months.

Sunday, December 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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