Antsy for a raise after ten years without one, home-based child care providers funded by the city took to the streets Tuesday to demand higher pay. Roughly 30 child care providers, parents, and organizers with Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) turned out to pressure the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) to begin paying home-based contract providers the same rates paid under the city’s voucher program (currently the rates can differ by as much as $3000 annually per child). For Marsha Zeigler, who started a home-based child care business about six months ago, the low pay doesn’t leave much to work with. “After I finish paying my expenses, I’m left with $201 to last me the rest of the month,” said Zeigler. “We’re not just sitting around watching TV, we’re offering quality care. And you can’t do that with the amount of money [ACS pays].” City officials have previously met with FUREE to discuss the organization’s concerns, but have not yet committed to enacting a raise for the coming budget cycle. “We completely recognize that they perform an invaluable service, that is not lost on us at all,” said Lisi DeBourbon, a spokesperson for the agency. “We hope to be able to tell them soon whether we can accommodate them.” Tamara Adams, a parent who took the day off from her job managing a Brooklyn diner to attend the protest, said she sides with Zeigler. “The providers get shortchanged,” said Adams, who brought her 3-year-old daughter, Heaven, along. “And, besides, I have to rally for child care, because I need it.” [4/25/05]