Government child inclusion program funding runs out

Some parents of P.E.I. children with special needs are complaining their kids aren't able to attend early years or after-school programs because government funding for inclusion programs is all spent.

Some parents of P.E.I. children with special needs are complaining their kids aren't able to attend early years or after-school programs because government funding for inclusion programs is all spent.

Heather MacDonald said she was told her five-year-old daughter would have to wait until at least April before being placed in an after-school program, because there was no money left in the province's budget for hiring special needs assistants.

"I don't believe that any family that has a child with a disability should have to wait," said MacDonald.

"Those children should be treated like any other child. It's not their fault they need the extra help. Personally I think they need to come up with a better way to do it."

A spokesperson for the Department of Early Childhood Development told CBC News that government has an annual budget of $1.2 million that goes to early years centres and after-school programs to hire staff to work with special needs children. But that budget ran out before all the applications were filled.

The department says it has found additional money, and 10 more centres will soon receive funding.

For mobile device users:Does P.E.I. need to change the way it funds assistance for special needs children at early learning centres and after-school programs?

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