Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone gives his first State of...

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone gives his first State of the County address in Hauppauge. (April 18, 2012) Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Once again the state is taking out our fiscal irresponsibility on the weakest and neediest among us, while catering to special interests ["Day care cutback," News, May 4]. In Suffolk County, 580 children will lose access to government-funded child care benefits, affecting 347 families, because the state has changed the financial need-based criteria for this subsidy.

This year's cuts save $4.6 million. Yet New York has a $384 million universal prekindergarten program that doesn't have any financial need criteria. Families are chosen by random lottery.

If the universal prekindergarten program were based on financial need, there would be more than enough money to restore these children's funds and send them to prekindergarten: a win-win for the children and society.

It's not socialism to help the neediest.

Perry Russell, Farmingville

Editor's note: The writer is the owner of the Abigail Bottoms Preschool in Patchogue.