N.S. parent ‘flabbergasted’ after pre-primary program pushes out non-profit
Published Friday, September 15, 2017 9:50PM ADT
A Halifax woman says she was appalled when she learned a non-profit group was told to downsize to make way for a new pre-primary classroom.
Angela Laroche's son, Joshua, started primary this year, and she says that’s because of the years he spent at the Halifax Association for Community Living's Development Centre.
Joshua has intellectual disabilities and is on the autism spectrum.
“Joshua right now is physically six years old, but mentally three-and-a-half to four,” says Laroche, “so he relies on a different way of learning and a different way of communicating.”
Laroche says that’s something the centre is able to provide, so she was flabbergasted to hear the centre may need to move out of the office space.
The centre’s board received a written notice from the Halifax Regional School Board Thursday.
“They want to send movers in next week,” says development centre director Andrea Urquhart. “We haven't had time to find another location.”
The daycare will remain, but even if they find another location, Urquhart says moving puts their family support programs in jeopardy.
“It's intimidating, it's concerning and it's heartbreaking,” says Urquhart. “But it's also very disappointing to be made to feel that we are unimportant.”
The school board again refused to do an interview with CTV News Friday. In a lengthy statement, the board says "unfortunately, no further space within Joseph Howe school can be provided to (the centre)."
The Opposition is calling on government to delay pre-primary until next fall.
“The implementation of preprimary is coming at the cost of community groups, it's coming at the cost of our daycare system,” says PC MLA Tim Halman
CTV News asked for interviews with both the Minister of Education and the Minister of Community Services – the departments that provide funding to the association for community living.
Interviews were not granted.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.