Save preschool for Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids in BC
This petition made change with 40,098 supporters!
We, as families of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children have grave concerns for the current funding status of Early Intervention and child care programs and services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children from birth to age 5 in the Province of British Columbia. We are hoping as members of the public you will recognize the urgency in this matter and will support our families in petitioning the Ministry for Child and Family Development to provide appropriate funding to Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs in British Columbia.
The BC Government and Government of Canada have invested over a billion dollars into early childhood education and yet Early Intervention programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children are facing the most severe funding shortages in decades resulting in:
- impending closures to group child care/preschool programs, including Deaf Children's Society Preschool, which is the only Preschool in all of BC that provides American Sign Language as the language of instruction
- severe cuts to individualized Speech-Language Therapy
- severe cuts to individualized Sign Language Instruction for Deaf children and their families
- elimination of all targeted funding for Outreach travel to support children and their families in communities outside of the lower mainland
The number of families accessing Early Intervention services has more than doubled in the past ten years, however the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s budget for these programs and services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children has remained the same.
BC Family Hearing Resource Society, Children’s Hearing and Speech Centre of BC, and Deaf Children’s Society of BC have all done their best to make the most of the funding available to them, but as the number of families accessing Early Intervention services continues to grow, the existing funds have become even more inadequate and all three agencies have faced substantial deficits.
Beginning April 1, 2020, all targeted funding has been eliminated by the Ministry and their contractors. The Early Intervention agencies will now only be able to access a small fraction of the total funding that was available under the targeted funding model. Per child funding will also not be differentiated among families that require Speech and Language services only and families that require both Speech and Language services and ASL Instruction. All of this means a large disruption in services delivered, a reduction in overall services, and potential agency closures.
Hundreds of Deaf children, their families, and Deaf Children's Society need your help! If the Ministry doesn't resolve this funding shortfall it will negatively impact hundreds of children in British Columbia. Please help.
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Matthew Kalenuik needs your help with “The Ministry of Child and Family Development: Save preschool for Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids in BC”. Join Matthew and 40,097 supporters today.