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Center for Disability Services cutting child care services

Center for Disability Services cutting child care services

By the end of spring, the child care center at the end of Helping Hand Lane in Glenville will become

By the end of spring, the child care center at the end of Helping Hand Lane in Glenville will become less helpful.

With deficits “simply too great to overcome,” the Center for Disability Services is restructuring its business and closing or cutting services at child care operations in Glenville, Cobleskill, Albany and Hudson. The cuts come as the center struggles to stay afloat at a time when government funding is shrinking and fewer resources are available to offset program deficits.

The Albany nonprofit, which provides services for individuals with disabilities and chronic medical conditions, recently notified employees about plans to trim its work force by 51, a 2.1 percent reduction. Citing a need to focus on its core services, the center will close its Clover Patch early childhood services in Cobleskill and Hudson June 19.

“After many years of supporting programs that had continuously run deficits, including the day care and preschool programs, we must now focus on our core services,” Anne Schneider Costigan, deputy executive director of the center’s Foundation Division, said in a statement.

Also in June, the center will close its Clover Patch preschool and day care services in Albany and Glenville. However, the nonprofit will maintain its specialized self-contained classrooms for children with multiple disabilities in those communities.

Services at the Clover Patch site in Amsterdam will not be affected by the restructuring.

“We didn’t feel there was alternative preschool out there, and the funding was solid there,” Schneider Costigan said of the Amsterdam site.

The 65-year-old agency has 85 locations throughout nine upstate counties. Schneider Costigan said the center had supported program deficits with revenues from its fundraising arm and Center Commercial Services, a presort mailing business largely staffed by disabled workers on Karner Road in Colonie. But, she said, the deficits are “simply now too great to overcome,” and those revenues must go toward the center’s core businesses.

The restructuring announcement came three months after the state announced that the nonprofit will receive a $1.3 million grant for upgrades to its Center Health Care and Assistive Technology Services facility on South Manning Boulevard in Albany. That funding, which is for equipment purchases and facility improvements, is part of the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers passed in 2006.

The center completed a two-year campaign last year to bring a playground to its Clover Patch site in Amsterdam. Its foundation and the Amsterdam Rotary Club raised $15,000 for the project at the preschool for special-needs children ages 3 to 5 years old.

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