Today’s news:

Bayside Y to lose its pre-K program

Bayside community leaders and parents said they were upset to hear that a YMCA chapter on 35th Avenue would lose its pre-kindergarten program this fall.

The YMCA, at 214-13 35th Ave. in Bayside, provides after-school programs and summer camp for children ages 5 to 15. But Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) said the site’s universal pre-kindergarten program would be discontinued in September because the number of children who utilize the site had dropped significantly.

“It’s economically no longer viable for them,” Halloran said.

But the Flushing YMCA will assist parents with children in the program to find alternate pre-kindergarten sites.

Bayside parent George Jefremow said he was upset to hear that the program was being cut.

“Why have they not given parents a heads-up?” he said. “We need day care and it’s almost August. I don’t see why they are doing things in such a clandestine fashion.”

William Nelson, executive director for the Flushing YMCA, said parents need not be alarmed. He said the YMCA would provide more detail on the site within the next week.

“We’re still providing service in the community,” he said. “The property is expensive. All the parents know that. All of our staff will be there. The key is that we have served this community for a long time. We have strong ties in the community.”

Susan Seinfeld, district manager of Community Board 11, said Bayside YMCA representatives had come before the board in recent months to make a presentation on the services they offered, leading her to believe the institution was trying to get business.

Halloran said had initially heard rumors the YMCA might close, but was told late last week that the site would only get rid of its pre-kindergarten program.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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