The provincial government is cutting funding for daycare workers who help children with special needs.
That doesn’t sit well with Saskatoon mother Jannica Hoskins.
Her daughter, Mya, is afflicted with osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition which makes her bones and teeth extremely brittle. She’s just four years old, but has already broken her foot once and arm twice.
Staff at the Saskatoon’s Spadina Early Learning Centre help Mya to brush her teeth three times a day. They help her to participate in hoop dancing, field trips and other activities that might otherwise prove too dangerous.
This week, the government told Spadina staff they’d lose funding for their inclusion co-ordinator and two other positions.
Similar cuts also affect several other daycares across the province.
That’s a huge blow to kids like Mya, said Hoskins.
“Every individual has the right to have a sense of belonging in the community in which they live and this cut just takes all of that away,” she said.
The daycare cuts weren’t immediately known when the budget was announced nearly one week ago — a budget in which the provincial government attempted to deal with its ballooning debt.
Instead, Spadina staff got the bad news in a call this week from a government official that the non-profit organization — the oldest daycare in Saskatoon — would lose funding for the three positions.
They aren’t sure how they’ll care for the centre’s 36 preschoolers, 10 toddlers and six infants. That doesn’t include more than 200 children on the waiting list.