Poor funding creates holiday care lottery for disabled children

The local ‘pot-luck’ provision of local authority
funded holiday schemes is exacerbating the lack of summer holiday
activities for disabled children, said a Barnardo’s report
published this week, writes Joanna

Author Neera Shahna said that longer term and consistent central
government funding is needed, so that local authorities can provide
– and be held accountable for – their leisure and play

With a holiday scheme costing over three times as much for a child
needing one-to-one support, parents of disabled children are forced
to meet the shortfall or cope with as little as two days’
funded provision.

Disabled children are often excluded from ‘mainstream’
provision – such as local leisure facilities – because of
inaccessibility and health and safety fears. In addition, parents
may face a reduced income as they take unpaid leave for

Shahna said: “When term-time support services [for the
disabled child] end, the summer is a time of great pressure for the
whole family.”

The report, Postcards from Home: the experience of disabled
children in the school holidays is available on:

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