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Employees Union Sues District for Privatizing Child Care

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A union representing D.C. Parks and Recreation employees is taking the District government to court over privatization of child care centers. DPR has overseen child care in the District for more than 30 years. Starting Friday D.C. Public Schools will take control with a private non-profit called United Planning Organization.

A handful of kids run around, waiting for their parents to pick them up from Kenilworth Parkside Day Care center in northeast Washington. Desire has two children there. She doesn't know where her kids will go when the center closes this week.

"It's affordable. Why are they going to take something like this out of our neighborhood when we really need it?" she asked.

150 employees are slated to lose their jobs. The employees union says the city broke the law by subcontracting DPR's child care centers to UPO.

Sydnetta Walker-Collins has worked for DPR for more than 25 years. For the last five, she's managed Malcolm X Early Child Care Center in Southeast. Come Friday, she'll be out of a job. "That's all I've ever done. And particularly in my class, I had a great year planned for them. And now to think that's not going to happen."

A district judge threw out a temporary restraining order that would have kept some centers open. The union is appealing the decision.

Peter Granitz reports...


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