UNDER-THREAT nursery places for disabled children have been saved at the eleventh hour.
Funding has now been found for 16 young children with disabilities in Wrexham who were set to lose their places at playgroups because of a lack of funding for one-to-one support and supervision.
Among the children set to suffer was two-year-old Ruby White who has chronic lung disease and cerebral palsy.
Ruby’s mum Melanie, of Maesgwyn, feared her daughter would miss out on a nursery place.
She said: “She has battled hard throughout her life and deserves this chance. Playgroup is important for the development of a child.”
Moya Williams, of the Wales Pre-School Providers Association, explained the predicament saying: “The situation is that we have had a grant from Wrexham Council this year to provide playgroup placements for children with disabilities with a one-to-one helper for the child.
“This grant runs with the financial year, so comes to an end at March 31. The grant was provided by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) to all councils to be match funded to help local authorities provide play opportunities for disabled children and was provided as a supplement to the Cymorth fund.
“We currently have 16 children placed in groups throughout Wrexham who will be unable to return to playgroup for the summer term because the grant is not being renewed from April 1.”
But earlier this week Wrexham Council said the £10,396 necessary funding had been found.
Marie Lebacq, the council’s head of service, prevention and inclusion, said: “We are aware of the concerns regarding the funding available to enable Ruby's playgroup placement to continue from April which allows her access to disabled play.
“The concerns were raised as the funding levels for next year appeared not to include the disabled play element. I am however pleased to say the WAG funding is now in place for next financial year for disabled play and that Ruby’s provision will continue."
A spokeswoman for Wrexham Council also confirmed the funding would be available for all 16 children affected.
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