CITY HALL - Members of the City Council and local unions protested Mayor Michael Bloomberg?s day care cost-cutting plan on the steps of City Hall Wednesday.

?This new program they?re putting into effect is really a sneaky way of shutting down child care centers,? says Raglan George, of District Council 1707.

Bloomberg?s plan, called Project Full Enrollment, calls for the city to only pay for the number of enrolled children at each center. Currently, the city pays for the classroom?s capacity even if every seat isn?t filled. The plan?s opponents say the centers are not at full capacity due to poor marketing techniques employed by the city.

Seventeen city day care centers have closed in the last four years. Union members say more closings due to funding cuts could hurt the city?s workforce as well as children?s futures.

?It?s bad enough we?re losing affordable housing,? says City Council Member Letitia James. ?It?s bad enough to cut back on schools ? and now you want to cut back on childcare??

For the day care news conference, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.