Cutbacks move disabled kids to ordinary daycares
Parents of disabled kids have traditionally been secured a spot in a special institution and had their transport expenses covered by their local council, but those days appear to be over.
According to Politiken newspaper, the Zealand councils of Næstved and Guldborgsund recently moved daycare institutions for disabled kids under the same legislation that covers ordinary daycares. The move opens up the opportunity to charge parents a user’s fee and means that the council will no longer have to cover transport expenses to and from the institution.
Now other councils are looking at this plan as a way to cut costs, but legal complications may get in the way. The national association for people with learning disabilities, LEV, is worried that certain rights are being taken away from disabled children.
“In special day care institutions, they have to offer you special treatment,” LEV spokesperson Sytter Kristensen told Politiken. “However, if [the special institutions] are under the law concerning ordinary institutions, you no longer have that legal right, even if the daycare is officially called a special institution.”
The head of the cerebral palsy association, Mogens Wiederholt, is also sceptical about the councils' plans.
“With a single stroke of the pen, these kids are made into 'ordinary' kids, but it is not that easy. That is a significant problem,” he told Politiken. “Especially when parents have to take their kids to the institution on their own, because the special daycares are often located far from their homes.”
The local government association KL, on the other hand, is confident that the legal reorganisation will only bring economic changes and will not affect how disabled children are treated. A spokesperson stressed that it will always be the council’s duty to provide a disabled child with the necessary support.
“What is important for these kids is not the law, but that they are getting the support they need,” senior advisor Kirsten Jørgensen told Politiken.