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The beleaguered Administration for Children’s Services suffered another blow on Friday with the departure of Harvey Newman, Deputy Commissioner for Child Care and Head Start.

Hired in April 2002, the former teacher and nonprofit executive was seemingly popular with staff, providers and advocates. So why the hasty farewell?

Newman declined to comment on his motives for leaving. An ACS spokesperson said he “left for personal reasons” and did not file a formal resignation letter. But his move clearly comes at a difficult time for the agency.

“These are problems that go back years,” said Nancy Wackstein, executive director of United Neighborhood Houses of New York, a federation of 36 community centers that offer child care and other social services. Yet she also acknowledged that some of those problems have been getting worse.

A scathing April 2003 report by the city comptroller’s office discovered that 46,000 working families were waiting for child care assistance, while 2,000 slots sat unused, at a cost of $17 million per year. A subsequent Daily News expos

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