Autism preschool called ‘illegal daycare’ by family ministry in Quebec

Taken from Facebook

Taken from Facebook

Montreal, Canada – Caught in a bureaucratic quagmire, an area preschool for children with autism is facing closure due to its inability to secure a permit. The Quebec government has marked The Little Red Playhouse as a daycare centre while the preschool considers itself a private institution.

The Little Red Playhouse provides childcare and early intervention therapy for youngsters on the spectrum. However, the privately funded facility’s mandate does not fall into a category of business that the provincial government would typically grant a permit to.

The issue centers around the total number of children under the care of the preschool. In particular it is illegal to have more than six children with disabilities in a single “daycare” centre.

Due to unsuccessful discussions between Sharon McCarry, its founder and government officials, the parties have now reached an impasse. McCarry is frustrated by the fact that regulations will potentially prevent children from obtaining the treatment they need. McCarry argues:

 “We’re an intervention facility and were a preschool…What kind of an operating permit do we need for the population that I’m working with?”

So far the answer to that question has proven to be elusive as CTV Montreal’s attempt to intervene by contacting authorities in hopes of resolving the issue have proven to be unsuccessful.

A statement issued by the family minister to CBC News on Tuesday stated,

“A permit or equivalent is not only an administrative formality, it’s a procedure the ministry rigorously applies to ensure childcare respects standards of quality.”

Meanwhile, parents of children who attend the preschool face the prospect of having to find alternative treatment and care for their young ones. Kristine Barbara, the mother of one of the preschoolers states:

 “It’s really been magical. “(The staff is) caring and generous with the children and I haven’t looked back.”

Sources: CTV News Montreal and CBC Canada