MANHATTAN - More than 2,000 parents, children and day care workers marched from Battery Park to City Hall Wednesday to protest a proposal that would eliminate pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs in day care centers.

The eliminations were included in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed budget. According to Bloomberg, shifting more than 3,000 children from day care centers to public schools will save money and help close the city's budget gap.

The Administration for Children's Services says it is too expensive to accommodate all children at day care centers without city funding. Parents are upset their children may be forced into already crowded public school classrooms, and some say a price tag should not be put on their children's education.

Day care union representatives say there is no guarantee every child will get a seat in a public school classroom. According to the ACS, it is working with the Department of Education to ensure all children have a place.

The city council will vote on Bloomberg's budget in June.