NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s public advocate is calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to save thousands of low-income child care slots in the proposed budget that he’s expected to release this week.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio sent a letter to the mayor Wednesday. He’s asking Bloomberg to save more than 8,000 slots that could be lost as the city restructures its early education and child care programs.

Currently, more than 94,000 kids get city-sponsored care. Tens of thousands more are eligible but don’t receive the help.

De Blasio, who is expected to run to place Bloomberg next year, says the city “can’t afford to ignore this investment in our future.” He says the programs help “parents work and provide for their families.”

The mayor’s office didn’t immediately comment.

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