#Children's Rights
NZ Government
New Zealand

Our mission is for equal rights for disabled children with regard to afterschool child care provision. The funding available is inadequate and results in this group of children being excluded from mainstream programmes.

The Background

Rainbow Umbrella Charitable Trust was established in 2009 to provide an afterschool care programme for children and young people with disabilities both physical and intellectual. Children who attended Rainbow are affected by a wide range of disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Downs Syndrome, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and many other learning disabilities.

Our goal was to provide the same opportunities for children with disabilities as other children enjoy, and to support families living with a disabled child. In order to cater for the high needs of the children, Rainbow had a staff ratio of no more than 1:3. Many of our children who attended required 1:1 support. This came at a high cost to the trust and due to inadequate Oscar Funding this valuable service closed its doors in May 2013. This has had a huge impact on the many families who used this service. Many of these children are not able to be accepted into mainstream Afcare programmes and now have no access to these services and are suffering from a lack of and social stimulation and interaction as a result.

The Future

We need your support to address this issue so that all children throughout New Zealand can be part of an inclusive society where, with adequate funding, they can access an afterschool programme of their choice. Currently there is no choice for children who have high needs. Please join us to force the Government to review the current level of child care subsidies.

We, the undersigned, call on the New Zealand Government to review access to, and increase funding levels for after-school care for children with special needs.

This will enable children with disabilities to have access to after-school childcare programmes of their choice, and for these specialist programmes to be financially viable and affordable for these families.

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The Support Children with Disabilities to get After-School care of their choice petition to NZ Government was written by Rainbow Umbrella Trust and is in the category Children's Rights at GoPetition.