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Mencap reveals lack of support for children with learning disabilities in summer

A poll by learning disability charity Mencap showed 80 per cent of parents of a child with a learning disability struggle to access support services during the school holidays
Learning disability hols

Four in five parents of children with learning disabilities struggle to get help during the school summer holidays, according to a new poll.

Nearly half (49%) of parents surveyed by learning disability charity Mencap also said they find it hard to get childcare in the summer.

Fifty-six per cent find it difficult to take short breaks or access respite services and 8% struggle to use portage home-based support for young children with learning disabilities at summertime.

The charity wants the government and local authorities to take a more flexible approach to childcare provision and short break services.

Lifeline

Mencap chief executive Jan Tregelles said: Having accessible and suitable childcare on offer can be a lifeline for many families.

But due to a lack

Four in five parents of children with learning disabilities struggle to get help during the school summer holidays, according to a new poll.

Learning disability hols
Parents of kids with learning disabilities can't easily access services in the summer holidays Picture: iStock

Nearly half (49%) of parents surveyed by learning disability charity Mencap also said they find it hard to get childcare in the summer.

Fifty-six per cent find it difficult to take short breaks or access respite services and 8% struggle to use portage – home-based support for young children with learning disabilities – at summertime.

The charity wants the government and local authorities to take a more flexible approach to childcare provision and short break services.

Lifeline

Mencap chief executive Jan Tregelles said: ‘Having accessible and suitable childcare on offer can be a lifeline for many families.

‘But due to a lack of sufficient provision from local authorities and inflexible provision of the services that are available, we are seeing many families are unable to access services and are often left to struggle alone.’

A total of 316 people were surveyed.

Childcare

A Department for Education spokesperson said it is doubling the free childcare which parents of three and four-year-olds are entitled to from 15 hours per week to 30.

The government is also consulting on changes to early years funding to increase access for disabled children.

The spokesperson added: ‘However it is up to councils to ensure they provide adequate childcare across the year for children up to age 14 for parents who are working, studying or training and to ensure all parents are aware of the options available to them locally.’

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