Pre-schoolers face lengthy delays for assessments, support
NDP Education Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) says lengthy waitlists for assessment and diagnosis are blocking access to appropriate childcare for pre-school children.
“This government's waitlists for pediatric assessment and diagnostic services are preventing pre-school children from getting the quality of childcare they need,” Kirby said in the House of Assembly today.
“Early childhood educators cannot effectively respond to the needs of children in their care when those children are forced to wait a year or more to be assessed. This creates a stressful work environment for ECE's, and negatively impacts the care they can provide for other children.
“When will this government stop putting up roadblocks that harm the quality of childcare?”
The problem is worsened, Kirby says, when after a child has waited a year to be assessed, there is another lengthy delay before funding for the appropriate staffing comes through.
“To make matters worse for pre-school children with special needs, childcare providers have to wait for six months or more to access inclusion staffing support funding,” he said. “The fact is children with special needs are being shuffled from one wait list to another.
“When will this government stop denying there are problems and help pre-school children and their parents get the special supports they need?”