The Pallister Government is ignoring its commitment to the most vulnerable Manitobans by not providing support to new applicants through the Child Care Inclusion Support Program, said NDP Families Critic Nahanni Fontaine.
“The Minister is obstructing families’ access to critical supports and forcing parents of children with special needs to make hard decisions,” Fontaine said. “The Pallister government is failing parents and children who need our support the most.”
During the 2016 election, Brian Pallister promised his government would, “Build a more supportive and inclusive education system province-wide by reducing red tape in special needs education funding applications.” (PC Platform, 2016).
While the province may be presently negotiating with the Federal Government regarding new funding, families are being left in the lurch. Families need certainty. The Province needs to ensure that families who need support now receive it today and are not left in the cold while Pallister plays negotiating games with Ottawa.
“The government should be doing everything it can to support special needs children and their families,” Fontaine said. “More and more parents need these supports, but rather than expanding and strengthening the program, the Minister is squeezing families out of it.”
Many pre-school spots open up during the summer months because children are advancing to school. If parents can’t access a pre-school spot this summer because the necessary supports aren’t available, they are very likely to miss their window of availability at daycare.
“A pause means another year of uncertainty for parents and may force them to take more time off work or go into debt to pay for private child care,” Fontaine said. “While the Minister sits on his hands, many children with special needs will miss their chance for a spot.”