Since 2014, Utrecht, Zeist and Houten have had ‘inclusive care’. Children with a disability or developmental delay can join three groups, the so-called plus groups, together with children without disabilities.
At the beginning of this year, after Blos was taken over, the organization announced that it would stop using the plus groups. Parents were told that quality and continuity could not be sufficiently guaranteed, reported NRC.
Parents can no longer register new children. Most of the current groups continue to move on. For some, another solution must be found.
Ezra (4) has developed a lot at Blos and could relate to other children, according to mother Judith Baart. “We want this shelter to continue to exist for other children,” she says. The boy with a rare chromosome anomaly was taken care of at Blos in Utrecht for the past three years. This year he will move on to special education, so childcare is no longer necessary for him.
Children with disabilities learn from mixed childcare from regular children and vice versa, according to José Smits, who is the spokesperson for the organizations involved. According to her, separate childcare contradicts the idea that children should be able to play and play together.
“An additional advantage is that the children are taken care of here in the neighborhood, so that parents do not have to travel as long. And so children with disabilities do not lose contact with neighborhood children,” says Smits.
The closure makes it more difficult for young children with disabilities to participate in society, the organizations say. It would violate the Dutch Disability or Chronic Illness Equal Treatment Act. This means, among other things, that you as a provider are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of a disability. The closure would also violate the UN child and disability conventions.
The letter writers are curious about the judgment of the Human Rights College on the actions of local governments in this situation. The municipality of Utrecht informed NRC that childcare has been left to the mark. The municipality was not yet able to respond.
Blos was not available for a response. Earlier, the childcare organization informed NRC that organizing inclusive childcare is complex. Healthcare institutions would agree, according to Blos.