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Press Release: $40 a day child care a token gesture for families of children with special needs

Summary: 
The BC government’s announcement of a $40/day “learning and supervision” fund for each day that a child under the age of 13 misses school due to the labour dispute offers little help for families.

$40 a day child care a token gesture for families of children with special needs

August 21, 2014; New Westminster, B.C. - As summer nears its end and the school year approaches, parents of students with special needs are worried they will not be able to find alternative arrangements for their children.

The BC government’s announcement of a $40/day “learning and supervision” fund for each day that a child under the age of 13 misses school due to the labour dispute offers little help for families. It does not address the unique challenges faced by families supporting children with special needs especially given many will need specialized care. Families with working parents face impossible challenges as they juggle the growing pressures of not being able to leave their children without support. The challenges single parent families face are even more dire and may result in loss of income and even unemployment if they cannot find or afford care while at work.

Inclusion BC Executive Director Faith Bodnar states, “we’ve been hearing from parents from across B.C. who are terrified of what will happen in September. It’s simply not a matter of paying $40 per day for a child care space or learning program. Many children require extra support to access these programs, and that’s only if there is space and funding. This also doesn’t address children with special needs over the age of 13 who cannot stay home alone. It’s time for leadership in BC. Let’s put this money back into the system, towards funding manageable class sizes and providing schools with the resources they need to meet the needs of all students.”

BC’s Supported Child Development (SCD) program provides extra support for children with special needs who attend child care. They help children, whatever their ability, access child care in their community. Limited spaces, already inadequate funding and long waitlists for these programs make the $40 per day irrelevant.

“The $40 per day may be a temporary measure for some, but for families with children with special needs who cannot stay home alone, it is vastly insufficient and for some ineffectual,” says Annette Delaplace, Inclusion BC past president and parent of a 17 year old daughter with special needs. “This does nothing to help families like mine who struggle to even find caregivers and the costs of which far exceed $40/day. We need a quick resolution to this labour dispute so that all students can return to school and receive the quality education they are entitled to.”

Inclusion BC is a provincial advocacy organization with over 60 member agencies dedicated to building communities and enhancing the lives of children and youth with special needs, adults with developmental disabilities, and their families.

Contact:

Faith Bodnar
Inclusion BC Executive Director
Cell: 604-764-2591
fbodnar@inclusionbc.org

Or

Natasha Langlois
Communications Manager, Inclusion BC
604-777-9100
nlanglois@inclusionbc.org